The quality of equality: thinking differently about gender inclusion in organizations

Maria Adamson (Department of Leadership Work and Organisations, Middlesex University Business School, London, UK)
Elisabeth K. Kelan (Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield, UK)
Patricia Lewis (Kent Business School, Canterbury, UK)
Nick Rumens (Portsmouth Business School, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK)
Martyna Slíwa (Essex Business School, University of Essex, Essex, UK)

Human Resource Management International Digest

ISSN: 0967-0734

Publication date: 10 October 2016



This paper aims to suggest a shift in thinking about how to improve gender inclusion in organizations, as well as offering a number of practical action points.


This paper takes a perspective based on the authors’ own ongoing research, as well as synthesis of existing insights into gender inclusion in organizations.


To retain top talent and improve organizational climate, the authors need to re-think how the authors measure the success of organizational inclusion policies. Specifically, the paper suggests moving from numbers and targets to looking at the quality of gender inclusion in the workplace. The paper explains why this shift in thinking is important and how to approach it in practice.

Practical implications

The paper provides strategic insights into and practical thinking about ways in which progressive organizations can continue to improve gender equality.


The paper makes a provocative call for a change of perspective on gender inclusion in organizations based on cutting-edge research and puts forward action points in an accessible format.



This research is supported by the Economic and Social Research Council, Grant No ES/N008685/1.


Adamson, M., Kelan, E., Lewis, P., Rumens, N. and Slíwa, M. (2016), "The quality of equality: thinking differently about gender inclusion in organizations", Human Resource Management International Digest, Vol. 24 No. 7, pp. 8-11.

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Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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