“Gender Fatigue”?

A new study blames “gender fatigue” for the failure of companies to increase the number of women reaching executive ranks. “I call it gender fatigue, paying lip service to an underlying problem that people feel weary of discussing. They just assume that since policies are in place, the problem is solved and no more needs to be done,” says Dr. Kelan, a lecturer in work and organizations at King’s College London. In her research, she did in-depth interviews with 26 men and women who are employees of two large Swiss companies that promote themselves as having leading-edge policies and programs to promote gender equality. Kelan recommends holding business leaders responsible for change and spending more time making the business case for increasing the proportion of women. More can be found in the Globe and Mail article here.

3 thoughts on ““Gender Fatigue”?

  1. Gender fatigue?!? I’ve seen some of this and I think there’s another way of describing it: They just don’t care all that much.

    From that perspective, there’s a telling bit of the article:

    For one thing, companies with a higher representation of women in senior management positions financially outperform companies with proportionally fewer women at the top, according to a study by Catalyst Inc., a New York-based research and advisory group released last winter.

    These findings support the business case for diversity, which asserts that companies that recruit, retain, and advance women will have a competitive advantage in the global marketplace, says Deborah Gillis, Toronto-based vice-president, North America, of Catalyst.

    “There is no fatigue in corporations when it comes to doing what it takes to improving the bottom line,” Ms. Gillis says.

  2. I know at the compnay wher I work the last 2 major promotions went to women. Both times it came down to a man and woman that met all of the qualifications, but the women had more education but less time in the company. Is that really fair to the men? There are alot more women in the company with higher levels of education than the men. So if this is the case the women will always be promoted over the men. The president of the company also said that he wants his replacement to be a woman when he retires. Yes, I agree that a company that has a high percentage of women in senior management outperforms companies that have little or no women at the top. So, yes, the more women filling those positions the better the company will be. My only concern is that at some point companies will get to where the majority of the senior management positions will be held by women at this rate. And with studies saying that companies run better with high rates of women in senior management positions…what is going to happen to men? Should a percentage of the positions be set aside for men only? Or should the positions always be open to the most qualified person…which of course, would give the edge to the women.

  3. Don, I just pulled your post out of the spam box, but I’m wondering whether it is just a joke, or perhaps a more subversive piece someone else consigned to spam.

    You can’t really be serious about the possible problems, which are quite remote. In addition, in general the reception of men in women identified fields tends to be quite benevolent, comparatively speaking.

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