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Gender and leadership Margaret Hallock Director Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics Barbara Pocock Director Centre for Work + Life University of South Australia. Leadership – is it gendered? Some useful concepts Gendered organisations The ‘ideal worker’ norm

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Gender and leadershipMargaret HallockDirector Wayne Morse Center for Law and PoliticsBarbara PocockDirectorCentre for Work + LifeUniversity of South Australia

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Leadership – is it gendered?

  • Some useful concepts
    • Gendered organisations
    • The ‘ideal worker’ norm
  • How women lead – is it different?
  • Lessons for women who lead?
is leadership gendered
Is leadership gendered?
  • As an empirical fact, yes:
    • While women make up almost one in two workers in the US and Australia
    • They make up small proportions of all kinds of leaders
    • Less than 10% of the world’s leaders are women (UN stats)
    • Less than one in five members of parliament globally are women
    • Women reach ‘critical mass’ of 30% of members of parliament in only 28 countries
in the us
In the US
  • In 2012 women make up:
    • 16.8% of Congress (535 seats) (3% in 1979; 13.6% in 2001)
  • In US state legislatures
    • Women make up 23.6% of legislators
  • Women make up 16% of US Fortune 500 companies’ boards
    • Barely changed from 14.6% in 2006 (Catalyst)
  • 14.1% of Chief executives in US Fortune 500 companies in 2010
australia
Australia?
  • 3% of CEOs of top 200 companies are women (2010)
    • 2% in 2008
  • 8.4% Board directors of top 200 companies
    • 8.3% in 2008
  • Federal parliamentarians – 30%
    • 29.6% in 2008
in professions
In Professions

Women have been rapidly increasing their share of qualifications and experience…but

In 2009/10 in the US women made up 47.2% of law students

Only 31.5% of lawyers were women

And they made up only 19.5% of partners

labour market is gendered
Labour market is gendered
  • Occupational segregation
    • Women and men do different jobs
unpaid labour is also gendered
Unpaid labour is also gendered

Men and women do different unpaid tasks

  • Men to garbage, women do care, cooking cleaning
  • Women do twice as many hours as men – in most countries
  • In Australia, in 2006, women spent an average of two hours and 52 minutes per day on domestic activities, compared to one hour and 37 minutes for men
  • Even when both work full-time, women spend on average 46 minutes a day more than men on domestic activities
  • And it has hardly changed since 1987
organizations and gender
Organizations and gender
  • Organizations are not gender neutral
    • Women do not step into organizations that treat men and women in gender-neutral ways
  • They are gendered, and they enact processes which make and remake gendered hierarchies
    • Joan Acker (1990) ‘Hierarchies, Jobs, Bodies: A Theory of Gendered Organizations’ Gender and Society, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Jun., 1990), pp. 139-158
how does this gendering happen
How does this gendering happen?
  • The way jobs are organised and valued
  • The way jobs fit with the rest of life, especially care
    • (sometimes called the division of labour between work in the labour market, or in the home)
  • the construction of symbols and images – eg dress
  • The ways people interact – in conversation, interruption
  • The ways in which people construct their (gendered) identities
  • In the fundamental, ongoing processes of work and workplaces
    • eg written work rules, labor contracts, managerial directives, and other documentary tools for running large organizations, including systems of job evaluation
the ideal worker leader
The ‘ideal’ worker/leader
  • The ‘worker’ of labour law and workplace norms has a gender:
    • He is male, he is assumed to be ‘care-free’
    • He is assumed to be supported at home – a breadwinner with a partner at home
    • He is the ‘ideal’ worker who sets the norms for working patterns
    • This is not most women
      • Who must adapt and morph around the established norms
      • Eg in Australia – 50% women work part-time and take a life-long pay cut to do so. This is a ‘choice’ around the male norm
    • Joan Williams (2001) Unbending gender: why family and work conflict and what to do about it, Oxford University Press
when women step into institutions made in the image of the ideal worker
When women step into institutions made in the image of the ‘ideal worker’
  • They are – not infrequently - viewed as different
  • Affected by their reproductive differences
    • Pregnancy, the assumption of pregnancy
    • Childcaring and domestic work
    • Other types of caring – for aged, infirm, disability
  • Closely scrutinized about how they look
  • Sexually harassed
  • Discriminated against
leadership takes place within
Leadership takes place within:
  • Gendered institutions, like the labour market
  • Gendered organizations, like the workplace
  • SO
    • Women leaders look different to the established norms of leaders
    • They behave differently (often) to the gendered norm
      • Reflecting how they are different to men (whether socialised that way or innately different)
      • Because of their reproductive roles and concerns
    • They are (often) negatively affected by their ‘difference’
      • Sexualised, objectified
    • They lead differently
being a woman leader
Being a woman leader
  • Took me a while…
  • ‘My turn’ to be out front
  • A life-cycle approach to leadership – the right time
  • Key things I’ve learned:
    • Vision – being clear about where we are going
    • Behaving ethically – all the time
    • Managing people well – biggest challenge, always (a craft to learn)
    • Admitting and learning from mistakes
    • Trying not to care about peopletoo much….