Making the Invisible Visible: A Cross‐Sector Analysis of Gender‐Based Leadership Barriers
Cook School of Intercultural Studies
Despite an abundance of educated, qualified women in the workforce, they continue to be underrepresented at the top of institutional leadership hierarchies. Theories of gendered organizations explain that work processes reproduce gendered structures of society in the workplace. These processes advantage men while forming barriers to women's success. This paper extends critical human resource development (HRD) theory by applying the concept of sexism hidden in the workplace to leadership and by outlining both social and organizational practices that create gender inequities in leadership. Our cross‐sector analysis of women leaders in religion and higher education revealed twenty‐seven gender‐based leadership barriers which operate at the macro, meso, and micro levels of society. We argue that most current efforts to promote women into leadership focus one by one on only a few barriers, primarily those within organizations, while failing to take into account the wide variety of barriers and their prevalence across all societal levels. We offer strategies to address barriers across all three levels to help organizations create gender‐equitable leadership environments.
Sexism; Sex role; Women in development
Human Resource Development Quarterly
DOI of Published Version
Dzubinski, Leanne M., "Making the Invisible Visible: A Cross‐Sector Analysis of Gender‐Based Leadership Barriers" (2016). Faculty Articles & Research. 559.