Book review: Women's Work, Men's Cultures

Emma de Vita reviews the new book by Sarah Rutherford

Off the Shelf
Off the Shelf

It's that old chestnut again: how to increase the number of women in senior positions in organisations. As the author, Sarah Rutherford, argues, equality and diversity policies often do not translate into gender equality at high levels, even with commitment from management.

Women's Work, Men's CulturesSo how can managers help their female colleagues break through this glass ceiling? The key lies in creating a culture that encourages women to flourish and rise through the ranks. This means change not only at the organisational level, with policies and communication, but also at the interpersonal level, by addressing how people relate to one another. But none of this can be effected without change at a personal level; that is, touching on deep-rooted and sometimes unconscious attitudes and beliefs.

It's time to question how masculine the management and leadership styles of your charity are, and to examine the boundaries and conflicts between work and life for your staff. Do you encourage flexible working? Can you make their lives easier? Finally, the issue of sexism must be challenged, including harassment and general behaviour. Take action now, before it's too late.

Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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