This selection of articles covers research carried out to investigate the various obstacles encountered by women in senior roles: pay gap, glass cliff, underrepresentation and whether the ‘differences’ that women can bring are valued.
Gender Disparity Among American Medicine and Surgery Physicians
Disparity exists between men and women physicians. We aimed to examine changes in gender disparity in the medical profession over the last two decades. The study reviewed publications on gender differences and the measures which have been implemented or suggested to rectify these disparities.
Pubmed, Embase, Scopus, and The Cochrane Library were searched in December 2019 using (“gender disparity” OR “gender gap” OR “pay gap” OR “gender discrimination”) from 1998-2019. The sources list of reviewed articles was also used to retrieve more relevant articles. Articles about physicians in the United States were included, and Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) was used to evaluate the quality of the articles.
In this systematic review that includes 49 studies, there is still disparity and discrimination in research, leadership, and pay between male and female physicians. Women have less leadership roles and progress at a slower rate to associate and full professor. Women publish less articles and have a lower h-index than men. Men earn $20,000 more a year after salary adjustment. More women than men experience negative comments about their gender (36% vs 4%), experience gender dis-crimination (65% vs 10%) and sexual harassment (30% vs 6%).
Although substantial research exists on this topic, there remains significant room for improvement to achieve gender equality. Institutions and individuals should implement interventions to rectify this disparity.
Nicole B. Lyons, Karla Bernardi, Oscar A. Olavarria, Puja Shah, Naila Dhanani, Michele Loor, Julie L. Holihan and Mike K. Liang. 2021. Gender Disparity Among American Medicine and Surgery Physicians: A Systematic Review
Conceptual Review of Underrepresentation of Women in Senior Leadership Positions From a Perspective of Gendered Social Status in the Workplace
An increasing number of studies report more similarities than differences in leadership styles between women and men. However, the evident vertical gender
segregation at top management levels still remains a common phenomenon for various organizations. This consistent disparity needs to be addressed by identifying
the underlying mechanism embedded in organizational structures that portrays women as less suitable for senior leadership positions than their male counterparts,
although evidence suggests that there is no substantial gender difference in leadership styles or behaviors.
This conceptual review articulates the deeply rooted gendered social status of organizations by delineating conceptual constructs and relationships regarding women’s delayed advancement to senior leadership positions.
The resulting model further implies that the gendered social status associated with women could compromise the effectiveness of human resources development (HRD) interventions initially developed to help women. This understanding prompts reexamination of existing HRD interventions to support women’s career advancement to senior leadership positions in organizations.
Gaeun Seo, Wenhao Huang and Seung-Hyun Caleb Han. 2017. Conceptual Review of Underrepresentation of Women in Senior Leadership Positions From a Perspective of Gendered Social Status in the Workplace: Implication for HRD Research and Practice
Feminist Ethics and Women Leaders: From Difference to Intercorporeality
This paper problematises the ways women’s leadership has been understood in relation to male leadership rather than on its own terms. Focusing specifically on ethical leadership, we challenge and politicise the symbolic status of women in leadership by considering the practice of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
In so doing, we demonstrate how leadership ethics based on feminised ideals such as care and empathy are problematic in their typecasting of women as being simply the other to men. We apply different strategies of mimesis for developing feminist leadership ethics that does not derive from the masculine.
This offers a radical vision for leadership that liberates the feminine and women’s subjectivities from the masculine order. It also offers a practical project for changing women’s working lives through relationality, intercorporeality, collective agency and ethical openness with the desire for fundamental political transformation in the ways in which women can lead.
Read the full-text of this article online for free.
Alison Pullen, Sheena J. Vachhani. 2020. Feminist Ethics and Women Leaders: From Difference to Intercorporeality
The Who, When, and Why of the Glass Cliff Phenomenon: A Meta-Analysis of Appointments to Precarious Leadership Positions
Women and members of other underrepresented groups who break through the glass ceiling often find themselves in precarious leadership positions, a phenomenon that has been termed the glass cliff. The glass cliff has been investigated in a range of domains using various methodologies, but evidence is mixed. In 3 meta-analyses, we examined (a) archival field studies testing whether members of under-represented groups, compared with members of majority groups, are more likely to be appointed to leadership positions in times of crisis; (b) experimental studies testing whether members of underrepresented groups, compared with members of majority groups, are evaluated as more suitable for, as well as (c) more likely to be selected for, leadership positions in times of crisis.
All 3 analyses provided some evidence in line with the glass cliff for women. Specifically, the meta-analysis of archival studies revealed a small glass cliff effect that was dependent on organizational domain. The leadership suitability meta-analysis also showed a small glass cliff effect in between-participants studies, but not in within participants studies. The analysis of leadership selection revealed that women are more likely to be selected over men in times of crisis, and that this effect is larger in countries with higher gender inequality.
The glass cliff also extended to members of underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. We explore several moderating factors and report analyses shedding light on the underlying causes of the glass cliff. We discuss implications of our findings as well as open questions.
Thekla Morgenroth, Teri A. Kirby, Michelle K. Ryan, Antonia Sudkämper. 2020. The Who, When, and Why of the Glass Cliff Phenomenon: A Meta-Analysis of Appointments to Precarious Leadership Positions
Advancing women in healthcare leadership: A systematic review and meta-synthesis of multi-sector evidence on organisational interventions
Women are underrepresented in healthcare leadership, yet evidence on impactful organisational strategies, practices and policies that advance women’s careers are limited. We aimed to explore these across sectors to gain insight into measurably advancing women in leadership in healthcare.
A systematic review was performed across Medline via OVID; Medline in-process and other non-indexed citations via OVID; PsycINFO and SCOPUS from January 2000 to March 2021. Methods are outlined in a published protocol registered a priori on PROSPERO (CRD42020162115). Eligible studies reported on organisational interventions for advancing women in leadership with at least one measurable outcome. Studies were assessed independently by two reviewers. Identified interventions were organised into categories and meta-synthesis was completed following the ‘ENhancing Transparency in REporting the synthesis of Qualitative research’ (ENTREQ) statement.
There were 91 eligible studies from 6 continents with 40 quantitative, 38 qualitative and 13 mixed methods studies. These spanned academia, health, government, sports, hospitality, finance and information technology sectors, with around half of studies in health and academia. Sample size, career stage and outcomes ranged broadly. Potentially effective interventions consistently reported that organisational leadership, commitment and accountability were key drivers of organisational change. Organisational intervention categories included i) organisational processes; ii) awareness and engagement; iii) mentoring and networking; iv) leadership development; and v) support tools. A descriptive meta-synthesis of detailed strategies, policies and practices within these categories was completed.
This review provides an evidence base on organisational interventions for advancing women in leadership across diverse settings, with lessons for healthcare. It transcends the focus on the individual to target organisational change, capturing measurable change across intervention categories. This work directly informs a national initiative with international links, to enable women to achieve their career goals in healthcare and moves beyond the focus on barriers to solutions.
Read this Open Access article online for free
Mariam Mousa, Jacqueline, Helen Skouteris, Alexandra K Mullins, Graeme Currie, Kathleen Riach et al. 2021. Advancing women in healthcare leadership: A systematic review and meta-synthesis of multi-sector evidence on organisational interventions.