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The Business Case for Women′s Equality: Is the Carrot Better than the Stick?

Linda Dickens (Professor at Warwick Business School and a member of the Industrial Relations Research Unit, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, England)

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Article publication date: 1 December 1994



Outlines women′s continuing pay and employment disadvantage in Britain. Discusses limitations of the legal compliance approach to equal opportunity. Examines critically the business case for EO (that it serves organizational competitiveness). Argues there is not a business case but a series of business rationales which are contingent. Organizational and managerial receptiveness to them is uneven, and they lead to only selective action. Argues that the business case “carrot” shares a similar weakness to the legal compliance “stick”. Calls for action beyond the individual organization in a multi‐pronged approach requiring state action, in which equality legislation and business case rationales each have a part to play.



Dickens, L. (1994), "The Business Case for Women′s Equality: Is the Carrot Better than the Stick?", Employee Relations, Vol. 16 No. 8, pp. 5-18.




Copyright © 1994, MCB UP Limited

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