Leading Women in Business: Diversity Perspective

Topics: Discrimination, Affirmative action, Gender Pages: 10 (3259 words) Published: May 1, 2008
Leading Women in Business:
Diversity Perspective

Women at work, Glass ceiling, Gender issues, Women’s equality. Abstract
This paper will look in depth at qualified women’s representation in the workplace according to gender diversity and business performance in the organisations. The first part of this journal is a preliminary part to entry the women’s role in business. The second part draws on overview the position of women employment within the firm and followed by some advantages of women leadership in business environment. The third section examines of the women barriers to pursue their higher career progression in the UK. Next, since the dynamic changes in business environment, gender diversity in the workplace need adjust accordingly. The paper concludes by arguing that diversity and equal opportunity can give a great contribution in organisation’s competitive advantage.

The chosen title of this journal demonstrates the recent changes in thinking on diversity issues such as women’s equality, gender role, and women’s powers on the board of directors within the organisation. In most countries, women position on top management or even as a director in the firm is limited. On the other hand, Burke (2003) said that the benefit of female executives in an organisation could bring greater contribution to its strategies and ultimately, give a better outcome for the company’s performance. Some giant-sized companies have looked into a gender diverse workforce to leverage their cultural diversity for competitive advantage (Kochan et al., 2003)

In reality, however, women employees are still treated as a second class after men; even though the company’s official policy has been made for gender diversity. Various cases happened in some business organisations in the UK and USA highlighted that the rights of women were not as strong as men’s, especially in the board decision making.

The progression of diverse group has become a critical issue today. Many responses appeared from various fields such as corporate, academic, and Human Resource (HR) experts or practitioners (Levin and Mattis, 2006) to solve the problems simultaneously. Thus, the qualified women’s voices can be equally important to men’s in order to produce the company’s strategies, as well as their role in decision making.

Women’s role in the workplace
Since diversity issue has been recognised in the last 20 years, the organisations reacted to adjust their employment policy in order to improve the culture of organisations, and continually develop its business objectives (Kandola and Fullerton, 1998). Women’s equality is one of the diversity policies within the firm which expects that women’s position is equal to men’s and not to be seen as second class anymore in organisational lives. This kind of view is perceived as an HR term. However, it is a responsibility that has to be consistently maintained by every member of the organisation.

In this modern era, women as member of a workforce in a firm are becoming more common. Most women who live in the big city in a large number of countries are now paid as employee or even own companies that compete with other companies. This could be said that there is a great dynamic social and economic change, and the multi-dimensional nature of labour market is the reason why women workers have joined in the workplace (Kirton and Greene, 2000). Despite the fact that women employee are widespread in many organisations, only few numbers of female workers have actually succeeded to occupy their top level manager positions. As Burke (2003) argued that corporate boards of directors have not responded this issue immediately. It might be considered that women had a low priority in most business environments in the past and even now, which is likely still embedded in board members’ minds.

Regarding the women’s role, every woman manager or director has...
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