The Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University recently opened its new Women’s Leadership Center. The new center, led by Shelley Correll, Stanford professor in sociology and director of the Clayman Institute, aims to empower the underrepresented voices of women in the workplace and promote women’s leadership in business, government and education.
The Center has laid out a clear strategy for accomplishing its goals. First, three target areas for change have been identified:
- Empower women to succeed with research-based programming and tools
- Engage men in conversations to create a level playing field for all
- Create effective organizations, whose cultures, practices and policies allow all people to thrive
Second, the Center will bridge the gap between academic scholarship and workplace practices by partnering with top companies and policy makers to design and carry out research on how to create more inclusive workplaces. “The Clayman Institute has an outstanding track record of translating robust academic knowledge into innovative, easy-to-implement programming,” explains Correll. “By combining research with business and industry participation, we can help other institutions learn from, contribute to, and partner with our efforts. We can also leverage research to help understand these programs, measure their impact, and scale them to meet specific needs.”
Finally, the Center will take a three-pronged approach to translating its findings into action:
- Educate: Develop and lead world-class leadership education for universities, corporations, and organizations, as well as broad-scale audiences
- Evaluate: Conduct research to deepen our understanding of the impact and effectiveness of leadership education
- Disseminate: Develop and promote engagement with our tools, research, and education to promote broad scale change
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A recent New York Times article defies the idea that women are paid less because they choose to be in occupations with lower paying wages. Claire Caine Miller, the author of the article, provides evidence that gender plays a more important role in the equation by stating:
“But a majority of the pay gap between men and women actually comes from differences within occupations, not between them — and widens in the highest-paying ones like business, law and medicine, according to data from Claudia Goldin, a Harvard University labor economist and a leading scholar on women and the economy.”
Furthermore, “There is a belief, which is just not true, that women are just in bad occupations and if we just put them in better occupations, we would solve the gender gap problem,” Dr. Goldin said. One of these factors is the number of hours of required facetime. Occupations with a workplace flexibility in terms of hours and location have less disparity.
According to Goldin, “The gender gap in pay would be considerably reduced and might vanish altogether if firms did not have an incentive to disproportionately reward individuals who labored long hours and worked particular hours.” The article prescribes work flexibility as a key to ensuring less women leave the workforce in sectors, such as finance, where there is a large gender gap.
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Source: New York Times.
Source: Harvard Business Review.
According to a recent study by the 20-First consultancy group, 60% of the top U.S. companies now have at least two women on their executive committees.
However, Asian companies have yet to see equal female representation in their executive committees. The survey revealed top Asian (including Australian) companies are “still dominated by men.” Close to 90% of the Asian companies surveyed have less than two women on their leadership team.
Click on the image to read the Harvard Business Review article.
Vinamilk CEO Mai Kieu Lien (3rd, L) takes a group of government officials on a tour of a Vinamilk factory.
Vingroup JSC’s Le Thi Thu Thuy says she brought a mother’s perspective to Vietnam’s largest mall, adding an indoor water park and ice rink to make it a weekend destination for Hanoi’s 6.8 million residents.
“There was nowhere for the whole family to go,” said Thuy, 39, who has two children and oversaw the opening of Vincom Mega Mall Royal City as chief executive officer of Vingroup before stepping down last month to run the firm’s new online unit. Crowds of kids and young couples gathered at the rink on a recent weekend, suggesting her plan is paying off.
Women leaders like Thuy are getting rewarded by investors in Vietnam’s $58 billion stock market, the best performer in Asia this year. An index of companies currently led by female CEOs has almost tripled in the past five years, gaining about twice as much as the nation’s benchmark VN-Index, according to data compiled by Paris-based Intelligent Financial Research & Consulting and Bloomberg.
Female executives’ success in Vietnam may stem in part from skills honed during decades of war that ended with the fall of Saigon in 1975, according to Thuy. With many of the men away from home fighting, women took over running businesses and managing family finances in addition to raising children. While women control less than 7 percent of the nation’s corporate board seats, that’s still the second-highest proportion among Southeast Asian countries tracked by IFRC after the Philippines.
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Thanh Nien News. April 4, 2014.