While many businesses have made considerable progress on diversity, others remain bastions of masculinity. Prof.-Dr. Dulini Fernando, Warwick Business School, puts the spotlight on the barriers that women face in the corporate world and shares the key areas in which managers can help to change that.
Creating a Positive and Nurturing Environment for Women at Work. A CoBS Research Pod drawn from the work of professor Dulini Fernando, Warwick Business School. With kind acknowledgements to Warwick CORE Insights.
“This is a man’s world,” sang James Brown, as he celebrated men’s achievements in the automotive, locomotive, marine and electrical engineering world of the 60s. And, while women have made substantial progress in the world of work and organisational hierarchies since the King of Soul first sang these words, many STEM-related fields such as engineering still seem resistant to gender diversity.
This might seem surprising, given that the benefits of workforce diversity at all levels, from frontline to senior management, are fairly well-established – increased creativity, innovation, communication exchange and even corporate value. But while many businesses have made considerable progress on diversity, others remain bastions of masculinity. Engineering is a good example. Despite the best efforts of many firms, gender equality in terms of employee numbers is still elusive, with nearly 40 % of women who gain engineering degrees eventually deciding to leave the profession.
However, research in companies has shown that one significant factor to turn the situation around is the workplace micro-environment. That is, the immediate surroundings – be it department, team or office – that women work in. Here the role of the manager is crucial. She/he has the endorsement and the opportunity to create a positive micro-climate and micro-environment. This means nurturing relationships between line managers and mentors; and fostering interest, support and cooperation with colleagues.
Professor Dulini Fernando, Warwick Business School, provides a framework for how managers can create a positive and nurturing environment at work for women to thrive.
Women: Creating a Positive and Nurturing Environment at Work
Learn & Do objectives:
- Understand the specific challenges that women face in a corporate setting
- Identify the needs women require in order to feel confident in a technical, male-dominated environment
- Pinpoint and use four areas of action where managers can create a positive and encouraging environment for women employees.
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- Download a related research pod: How leaders can create a fun working climate for their teams
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