Book Review: Womentrepreneurs: Inspiring Stories of Success

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The Hindu Business Line recently published a book review by Aarati Krishnan for the book Womentrepreneurs: Inspiring Stories of Success by author Avinash Kirpal. From the review:

Womentrepreneurs: Inspiring Stories of Success authored by Avinash Kirpal manages to steer clear of these pitfalls and gives a mostly factual account of 10 Indian women entrepreneurs who have succeeded in striking out on their own in diverse fields — from helming an HR consultancy, to running an NGO which helps women widowed byWomentrepreneurs gun violence get back on their feet. The very diversity of the stories chronicled here makes this book an interesting read.  It does justice to its subjects by taking a systematic approach in covering four different aspects of every entrepreneur’s life. The stories are based mainly on personal interviews with the entrepreneurs and are good reads.

This book dutifully poses the work-life balance question to every woman entrepreneur too. The answers mostly revolve around supportive families or partners who ‘didn’t interfere’ in the business. In some cases, the entrepreneur made a choice to remain single because her career choices wouldn’t fit in with ‘family life’. What these responses essentially reveal is that you shouldn’t look for a solution from others on what you can do to attain work-life balance while zealously pursuing a career. It’s largely a matter of being assertive and knowing where your own personal priorities lie.

You can read the full review from Business Line by clicking here. Interested in buying Womentrepreneurs: Inspiring Stories of Success? You can purchase the book by clicking here.

How is the Media Hindering Gender Equality and Women’s Human Rights?

17202516813_12c72fab2a_z (1)The news media has the potential to play a critical role in improving gender equality and women’s human rights. However, the patriarchal nature of the media hinders such improvements. Media sexism and male-dominated power structures are continually shifting and finding new forms of representation and practice. The perpetuation of this system is materialized by different institutions—government, parties, schools and media—and through different mechanisms—laws and policies, curriculum and cultural products. Patriarchy in the media perpetuates traditional gender roles for both women and men. By associating women with the domestic sphere and men with the public, women are stereotyped as being less capable of working in the public sphere, including fields like politics, media, and education. The media could help empower women socially, politically and economically by reducing poverty, illiteracy, gender-based violence and social segregation. Instead, media content reproduces sexist stereotypes that discriminate against women.AME Cover

The issue is complex and involves gender representation in news content, participation of women as reporters and gender policies for news practices. An article entitled “News Media Coverage of Women” from the Asia Pacific Media Educator looks at this issue and offers some proposals to make the media a tool for improving gender equality and women’s human rights.

The most relevant initiative to take on this issue has come from the Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMAG). Launched in 2013 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), GAMAG is a multi-stakeholder group that includes more than 500 organizations representing scholars, journalists and activists. The main goal of GAMAG is to combine efforts and resources to achieve gender equality in media systems, structures, and content, as well as to promote citizens’ media dialogue to ensure women’s freedom of expression, empowerment and full participation in society. GAMAG has the potential to produce change in the news media at different levels, including at the structural, content, and policy levels, but such change will take time.

The abstract:

News media organizations have the power to reinforce gender inequality through the dissemination of gender stereotypes. The issue is multidimensional and involves gender representation in news content, participation of women as reporters and gender policies for news practices. This article looks at this issue before, drawing on the work of Grizzle, offering some proposals to make news a tool for improving gender equality and women’s human rights.

You can read “News Media Coverage of Women” from Asia Pacific Media Educator free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research from Asia Pacific Media EducatorClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Photo credited to Knight Foundation (CC)

Unequal to the Task: Task Segregation As a Mechanism of Inequality for Women at Work

Woman and ManGender inequality studies have long focused on identifying the material disparities between men and women in the workforce, including researching the gender wage gap. But gender inequality in the workforce extends beyond differences in earnings and promotional opportunities–women also experience inequality in more subjective forms, such as through task segregation, which ultimately impacts job quality. In their article, “Task Segregation as a Mechanism for Within-Job Inequality: Women and Men of Transportation Security Administration,” published online by Administrative Service Quarterly, Curtis Chan and Michel Anteby explore a case study of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees, which found that female employees were disproportionately assigned the undesirable task of patting-down airline customers. The authors go on to explore the negative impact of task segregation on the female TSA employees.

The abstract:

In this article, we examine a case of task segregation—when a group of workers is disproportionately allocated, relative to other groups, to spend more time on specific tasks in a given job—and argue that such segregation is a potential mechanism for generating within-job ASQ_v60n4_Dec2015_cover.inddinequality in the quality of a job. When performing those tasks is undesirable, this allocation has unfavorable implications for that group’s experienced job quality. We articulate the processes by which task segregation can lead to workplace inequality in job quality through an inductive, interview-based case study of airport security-screening workers in a unit of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at a large urban airport. Female workers were disproportionately allocated to the pat-down task, the manual screening of travelers for prohibited items. Our findings suggest that this segregation led to overall poorer job quality outcomes for women. Task segregation overexposed female workers to processes of physical exertion, emotional labor, and relational strain, giving rise to work intensity, emotional exhaustion, and lack of coping resources. Task segregation also seemed to disproportionately expose female workers to managerial sanctions for taking recuperative time off and a narrowing of their skill set that may have contributed to worse promotion chances, pay, satisfaction, and turnover rates for women. We conclude with a theoretical model of how task segregation can act as a mechanism for generating within-job inequality in job quality.

You can read “Task Segregation as a Mechanism for Within-Job Inequality: Women and Men of Transportation Security Administration,” from Administrative Service Quarterly by clicking here. Want to be notified of all the latest research like this from Administrative Service Quarterly? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

The Gender Pay Gap

only-few-cents-247849-mBack in the news is an issue of importance in the field of management: the gender pay gap. Fifty years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, women continue to be paid less than men, even when accounting for factors commonly understood to affect earnings. As the U.S. Census Bureau data has shown, “for the last decade, median earnings for women working full-time, year-round, have been just 77% of men’s earnings.” The American Association of University Women’s research report, Graduating to a Pay Gap, further reveals that college-educated women working full-time were “paid an unexplained 7% less than their male counterparts were paid one year after graduation.”

What does recent research tell us about the gender pay gap? What’s behind it? What are the effects of unequal pay on the workplace, families, the economy? Does it matter? We’re pleased to present the following articles to enrich the discussion. Click on the titles below to read the articles, free through March.

Women and Work-Life Balance

Shortly after Marissa Mayer’s appointment this week as CEO of Yahoo, news of her pregnancy opened a new chapter in the work-life debate. Today, we offer context with perspectives on gender roles, women in leadership, and work-family balance. We hope you’ll find this selection interesting and useful.

Gary N. Powell of the University of Connecticut and Jeffrey H. Greenhaus of Drexel University published “Sex, Gender, and Decisions at the Family → Work Interface” in the July 2010 issue of the Journal of Management:

We explore whether sex differences in work-domain decisions can be explained by family-domain factors and whether the effect of family-domain factors on work decisions is different for women and men. We believe that answers to these questions can provide important insights into the role of sex in the interplay between family and work lives.

Athena Perrakis and Cynthia Martinez, both of the University of San Diego, published “In Pursuit of Sustainable Leadership: How Female Chairs With Children Negotiate Personal and Professional Roles” in the May 2012 issue of Advances in Developing Human Resources.

The lived experiences of the women in this study indicate complex tensions between personal and professional roles. Childcare and home responsibilities were the primary factors that complicated or derailed efforts to achieve work–life balance.

Frank L. Giancola, HR researcher and writer, published “Can the Work–Life Movement Regain Its Balance?” in the September/October 2011 issue of Compensation & Benefits Review. See also our five-part series on work-life balance.

The work–life discipline of human resources (HR) management has been in a period of transformation for the past decade. This fact may have eluded many people in the business world, since the key reasons behind the transformation and the new direction are not widely known outside work–life circles.

Are you interested in receiving email alerts whenever a new article or issue becomes available online? Then click here!

New JME Podcast: Women and Power

We see them everywhere: signs that the old stereotypes about men, women and power remain ingrained in our culture. Where does this leave women today in terms of having and wielding power?

Mary Shapiro, Cynthia Ingols, and Stacy Blake-Beard, all of the Simmons School of Management, ask this question in their article, “Using Power to Influence Outcomes: Does Gender Matter?,” released in the October 2011 issue of the  Journal of Management Education (JME).

The authors evaluate sex-role stereotypes and examine the real-life experiences of women with “an exercise that can be used in MBA, executive education, and undergraduate classes, which enables students to explore power, gender dynamics, and the double bind both men and women may face.”

JME Associate Editor Kathy Lund Dean interviewed the authors, who discussed their findings and shared new insights on this important topic. Click here to download the podcast, and click here to subscribe on iTunes.

Stacy Blake-Beard is Associate Professor of Management at the Simmons College School of Management where she teaches organizational behavior.  Dr. Blake-Beard’s research focuses on the challenges and opportunities offered by mentoring relationships, with a focus on how these relationships may be changing as a result of increasing workforce diversity. Dr. Blake-Beard has published research on gender, diversity, and mentoring in several publications including Journal of Career Development, Academy of Management Executive, Academy of Management Learning and Education, the Psychology of Women Quarterly, Journal of Management Development, Journal of Business Ethics and The Diversity Factor. She has given seminars for and consulted with a number of organizations on issues of diversity, implementing formal mentoring programs, gender and leadership and team-building.

Cynthia Ingols School of Management (SOM), Simmons College, Boston, MA, directs the internship program for undergraduate and MBA students; teaches courses in Organizational Change and Career Strategies to MBA students; and directs Strategic Leadership for Women, an executive education program with a global reach. Her research on executive education programs has been published in Harvard Business Review, Organizational Dynamics, and Training. Her research work on innovative organizational structures and change was published in the Design Management Journal. She has published articles about careers in Journal of Career Development and Human Resource Development Quarterly. She co-authored two books on career management: Take Charge of Your Career (2005), and A Smart, Easy Guide to Interviewing (2003).

Kathy Lund Dean is professor of management at Idaho State University. She earned her Ph.D. in organizational behavior and ethics from Saint Louis University. For fifteen years she has been active in both the OBTS Teaching Society for Management Educators, where she served on the Board, and the Academy of Management. She’s a founder of the Academy’s Management, Spirituality and Religion (MSR) interest group and in 2010 she served as Program Coordinator for the OBTC Teaching Conference for Management Educators. She continues her engagement with the Journal of Management Education as both an author and as Associate Editor, now in her 10th year. Currently, she’s researching ethics and decision-making among entry-to-mid-level managers, how religious and spiritual disputes in the workplace get resolved, and student disengagement issues. As of July 2012, Kathy will serve as the Board of Trustees Distinguished Chair in Leadership and Ethics at Gustavus Adolphus College.

Mary Shapiro has served for more than 25 years as an Organization Behavior faculty at Simmons College, an executive trainer, and a consultant to public and private companies. She joined the Simmons MBA faculty in 1993, and teaches in their MBA, undergraduate and executive education programs.  Shapiro specializes in three areas: team building and leadership, influential communication across diverse stakeholders, and strategic career management.  She researches and publishes in the areas of women, their careers, their risk-taking, and their use of power.  She co-authored two books, Your Job Interview: An Easy, Smart Guide to Interview Success; and Take Charge of Your Career, which extend an understanding of interviewing and career strategies to include the nuances of gender and many dimensions of diversity.  She developed “The Communication Styles Diagnostic,” an online tool that has been used by thousands of managers to improve their effectiveness with individuals and teams.

To listen to the other podcasts in the Journal of Management Education collection, please follow this link. More information about the journal can be found here.

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The Resume Characteristics Determining Job Interviews for Middle-Aged Women Seeking Entry-Level Employment

Emily Johnson, The Texas Sunset Advisory Commission, and Joanna Lahey, Texas A&M University, published “The Resume Characteristics Determining Job Interviews for Middle-Aged Women Seeking Entry-Level Employment” in August 2011 issue of the Journal of Career Development.

The Abstract:

Obtaining an entry-level job can be critically important for women with little education, particularly those who have taken time out of the labor force. This article uses archival data from a field experiment, called a resume audit study, to examine the characteristics of entry-level resumes that are important to potential employers. In accordance with earlier theory, post–high school education and training, such as from a community college or a computer training program, are primary factors in determining whether a woman receives an interview. For example, vocational training more than doubles the chance of an interview. Other factors are not as important for entry-level jobs, unlike what resume manuals aimed at college graduates suggest.

This article was also highlighted in a press release on September 27th, entitled “What Employers Look for of Those Reentering the Workforce.”

Finding a job in today’s economy is difficult in the best of circumstances, but many women are facing an even bigger challenge: returning to the workforce after a long absence.  Researchers recently looked at the characteristics on older women’s resumes that received the most success in securing job interviews. The top characteristic that resulted in job interviews for middle-aged women seeking an entry level job was vocational or computer training.

To learn more about the Journal of Career Development, click here.

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