Women in power: Contributing factors that impact on women in organizations and politics; psychological research and bets practice
© 2017. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Reason for embargo
Under embargo until 31/10/2019 in compliance with publisher policy.
In this paper we discuss the factors that influence women’s likelihood to gain positions of power, and what impedes women’s effectiveness once in these roles. We have reviewed the research from an international perspective and have highlighted the common trends that impact women across the globe. Although progress has been made, there is still much that needs to happen before equality of opportunity is realized. This paper highlights the macro and micro level factors that have an impact on women’s rise to powerful positions and the progress and reactions thereafter. The psychological research indicates that it is not sufficient to address the individual challenges of being a woman in business or in politics. The current emphasis is on women as individuals and relies on them taking action. But this fails to address the wider societal impacts. It is not sufficient for women to focus on building their networks, increasing their social capital and enhancing their motivation. This fails to take into account the institutional and societal biases that undermine opportunities for women. We recommend changes in the way that women approach opportunities in the workplace, and in the way that policy makers and employers act. We highlight the importance of embracing diversity more broadly, not simply from a gender perspective. Only in this way, can there be equality of opportunity and an enhancement of diversity in the workplace. We address the practical implications from the psychological research and provide advice for organizations, senior executives, women throughout their professional careers and for young women as they start their career journey.
This research was sponsored by the Alliance for Organizational Psychology (AOP) and coordinated through the Board Effectiveness Group of the British Psychological Society.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Elsevier via the DOI in this record.