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Article
Publication date: 7 January 2019

Diana Bilimoria and Lynn T. Singer

The purpose of this paper is to describe the objectives, activities and outcomes of the National Science Foundation ADVANCE project, Institutions Developing Excellence in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the objectives, activities and outcomes of the National Science Foundation ADVANCE project, Institutions Developing Excellence in Academic Leadership (IDEAL) during 2009–2012. The goal of IDEAL was to create an institutional learning community empowered to develop and leverage knowledge, skills, resources and networks to transform academic cultures and enhance gender equity, diversity and inclusion in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines at six research universities in the northern Ohio region. Over the three-year period, these institutions developed academic leaders and institutionalized gender equity transformation through multi-dimensional and multi-level initiatives, improving the advancement and leadership of women faculty in STEM disciplines.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors describe the objectives, activities and outcomes of the NSF ADVANCE project, IDEAL during 2009–2012. The six research institutions included in IDEAL were Bowling Green State University, Case Western Reserve University (the lead institution), Cleveland State University, Kent State University, University of Akron and University of Toledo.

Findings

IDEAL’s outcomes included the institutionalization of a number of gender equity initiatives at each university, an increase in the number of tenured women faculty in science and engineering disciplines over three years across the six universities, and increases in the numbers of women in faculty and administrative leadership positions. Out of 62 of the IDEAL participants (co-directors and change leaders), 25 were promoted or appointed to roles of leadership within or beyond their institutions during or after their participation in IDEAL. A number of new institutional collaborations and exchanges involving the six universities occurred during and emerged from IDEAL. An integrative model of the IDEAL program is developed, describing the nested components of each institution’s gender equity transformation within the IDEAL partnership consortium and the larger NSF ADVANCE community, and highlighting the dynamic interactions between these levels.

Social implications

The IDEAL program demonstrates that systemic change to achieve equity for women and underrepresented minority faculty in STEM disciplines must be rooted on individual campuses but must also propagate among higher education systems and the broader scientific community. The effort to develop, sustain and expand the IDEAL partnership model of institutional transformation (IT) in higher education illuminates how innovative, context-sensitive, cost-effective and customized institutional strategies may be implemented to advance gender equity, diversity, inclusion and leadership of women faculty at all levels across the country.

Originality/value

This is an original description of a unique and distinctive partnership among research universities to foster gender equity IT. The manuscript details the objectives, activities and outcomes of the IDEAL program, established with the aim of broadening participation in the STEM academic workforce and advancing gender equity, diversity and inclusion in institutions of higher education. An integrative model is developed, illustrating the key components and outcomes of the IDEAL program.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 38 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2003

Deborah Dahlen Zelechowski and Diana Bilimoria

Inside directors are executives who hold the dual roles of officers of the firm and corporate board members. Six women inside directors from Fortune 1,000 corporations…

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Abstract

Inside directors are executives who hold the dual roles of officers of the firm and corporate board members. Six women inside directors from Fortune 1,000 corporations were interviewed for this exploratory study. Through systematic coding of the interviews, two independent dimensions of influence and inclusion emerged as the critical factors that enhance or restrict the performance and contributions of women at the top of corporations. Three sub‐themes characterized women inside directors’ influence: their role in the board’s decision making, the bases of influence, and influence strategies used. Three sub‐themes characterized the inclusion dynamics experienced by women inside directors: support and acceptance, exclusion, and the nature of the advice they received. Conclusions are drawn regarding the convergence of the influence and inclusion dynamics for women to function most effectively at the top of corporations.

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 18 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2021

Suad Dukhaykh and Diana Bilimoria

The purpose of this study is to explore the factors that influence Saudi Arabian women to persist in nontraditional work careers, which are primarily in gender-integrated…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the factors that influence Saudi Arabian women to persist in nontraditional work careers, which are primarily in gender-integrated work environments and male-dominated industries.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative research was conducted based on semistructured interviews with 30 Saudi women – 18 of whom were working in nontraditional careers and 12 of whom had worked in nontraditional careers but subsequently left to pursue more traditional, female-associated career opportunities. Interview data were recorded, transcribed and analyzed using grounded theory methods.

Findings

Distinct similarities and differences between the two subsamples emerged from the data. Similarities between the two groups included men's underestimation of women's performance, lack of access to workplace sites and resources, male colleagues' cultural fears of violating gender norms and social rejection of women in the workplace. Women who persisted in nontraditional work careers articulated a high level of self-efficacy, an optimistic future vision, positive relationships with male colleagues and family support, which enabled them to persevere despite numerous difficulties associated with working in a male-dominated environment. A conceptual model is developed that integrates the findings explaining Saudi women's persistence in nontraditional work careers.

Research limitations/implications

Self-reported data and a small sample size are the main limitations of this study.

Practical implications

Male managers of women in nontraditional work settings are encouraged to engage positively with women professionals in their teams and to provide opportunities for growth and development for all members of the workforce. Saudi public policy decision-makers, families, educators and organizations interested in retaining and increasing female workforce participation should take into account the factors influencing Saudi women's persistence in nontraditional work careers.

Originality/value

Although some studies in Western contexts have addressed the factors that influence the persistence of women in nontraditional careers, less work has been done in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) sociocultural context. Specifically, in the present study, the authors investigate the factors that influence women's persistence in nontraditional careers in Saudi Arabia's high gender-role-oriented culture.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 34 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2006

Margaret M. Hopkins, Deborah A. O’Neil and Diana Bilimoria

This exploratory study describes the images of effective leadership and successful organizational advancement held by women in numerous positions in the health care fields.

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Abstract

Purpose

This exploratory study describes the images of effective leadership and successful organizational advancement held by women in numerous positions in the health care fields.

Design/methodology/approach

Surveys of 140 women in the health care field were quantitatively and qualitatively analyzed.

Findings

Differences were found between the characteristics of effective leadership and the characteristics contributing to successful advancement. Women in health care predominantly portray effective leadership in other‐oriented (team or organizationally focused) and stereotypically feminine or gender‐neutral terms. In contrast, successful advancement in organizations was predominantly and almost exclusively described in self‐focused and stereotypically masculine terms. Similarities and differences in the perspectives on leadership effectiveness, career advancement, satisfaction, and development strategies were examined among physicians, nurses, administrators, faculty, and others (scientists and researchers).

Research limitations/implications

Implications of the disparate perspectives held by women in health care are discussed and future directions for research are proposed.

Originality/value

Since women overwhelmingly dominate employment in the health care field, to explicate their unique perspectives of leadership and career advancement.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Article
Publication date: 5 October 2015

Renuka Hodigere and Diana Bilimoria

The purpose of this study is to examine the importance of human capital and professional networks for women’s and men’s appointment to the boards of directors of public…

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1405

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the importance of human capital and professional networks for women’s and men’s appointment to the boards of directors of public companies. The study provides an in-depth analysis of how human capital and professional networks contribute to women’s as compared with men’s odds of corporate board membership.

Design/methodology/approach

The study analyzes the human capital and professional networks of 494 male and female corporate outside (non-executive) directors appointed between 2005 and 2010 to the boards of US public companies listed in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. Human capital was measured as director age, education and professional experience (function and role). Professional network variables measured included composition of professional network, network centrality, constraint and cohesion.

Findings

The study’s findings reveal that the characteristics that impact the appointment of women as outside directors to public company boards differ from those of men. Relative to men, certain professions such as government relations and education improve the odds of appointment of women to corporate boards, while age lowers women’s odds. The number of network ties and the degree of network cohesion were also significant in predicting the likelihood of female board appointment to public corporations relative to men’s odds. The final model was able to predict female board membership correctly only in 28 per cent of the cases, while male board membership was predicted in 89 per cent of the cases, suggesting that factors other than human capital and professional networks (e.g. their gender) impact women’s appointment to corporate boards.

Originality/value

To the authors ' knowledge, this study is the first to comprehensively examine the professional network components of female and male directors along with their human capital in the analysis of their prospects for board appointment. The conceptualization of professional networks as well the depth of quantitative analysis of the network components of the study advance the extant literature on the composition of corporate boards.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 30 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

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Article
Publication date: 17 May 2013

Kathleen Buse, Diana Bilimoria and Sheri Perelli

Women remain dramatically underrepresented in the engineering profession and far fewer women than men persist in the field. This study aims to identify individual and…

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3925

Abstract

Purpose

Women remain dramatically underrepresented in the engineering profession and far fewer women than men persist in the field. This study aims to identify individual and contextual factors that distinguish women who persist in engineering careers in the US.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative research was conducted based on semi‐structured interviews with 31 women engineers, ten of whom had left an engineering career and 21 persisting for on average 21 years. The interviews were recorded, transcribed, coded and analyzed.

Findings

Women who persisted in engineering careers articulated high levels of self efficacy, described themselves in terms of their identity as an engineer, and were motivated by the challenges and novelty of the profession. Women engineers' ability to adapt enabled them to persist and thrive despite working in a male‐dominated culture characterized by difficulties associated with the workplace, including discrimination. Women who opted out of engineering were less likely to recognize options in navigating the workplace and some felt as if they were pushed into engineering. Persistent engineers were less likely to be married and had fewer children.

Research limitations/implications

Although appropriate for an inductive study using a grounded theory approach the sample was small and the data was self reported.

Practical implications

A model is developed that integrates individual and contextual factors explaining a woman's persistence in an engineering career and has potential to explain persistence in other professions. To retain more women in engineering careers, organizations and managers should provide opportunities to develop identified skills within the professional domain and should provide opportunities for women engineers that provide continuous learning, on‐going challenges and novel work.

Originality/value

Although numerous studies have addressed the retention of women in academic engineering programs and several recent studies have described why women leave engineering careers, the novelty of this study is that it addresses why women stay.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2005

Deborah A. O'Neil and Diana Bilimoria

This study aims to explore the nature of women's career experiences over the life course by examining career patterns, career locus, career contexts, and career beliefs.

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10668

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the nature of women's career experiences over the life course by examining career patterns, career locus, career contexts, and career beliefs.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative, inductive approach to data gathering and analysis was employed, using life story surveys, semi‐structured interviewing, thematic analysis, grounded theory, code development and descriptive statistics.

Findings

The data revealed distinct patterns of how women's careers develop over time, particularly with regard to the impact of career contexts (societal, organizational, and relational) and women's own changing images of their careers and career success. A three‐phase, age‐linked model of women's career development is proposed: the idealistic achievement phase; the pragmatic endurance phase; and the reinventive contribution phase.

Research limitations/implications

Future studies should test replicability of these findings to determine whether this three‐phase model is embedded in the particular socio‐historical context of the times in which the particular women in this sample have lived or is universally applicable across different eras and changing realities.

Practical implications

Better organizational efforts are needed to ensure that women receive ongoing coaching and mentoring, work for managers who support their development, have access to organizational resources and opportunities to develop their skills, are given challenging assignments, are acknowledged for their unique talents, and are recognized for aptitude learned through life experiences and “non‐traditional” work histories.

Originality/value

This is a rare, women‐only study that looks at the career dynamics of women over the life course.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2013

Ruth Sessler Bernstein and Diana Bilimoria

Using survey data of nonprofit board members from racial/ethnic minority groups, the purpose of this paper is to investigate how the three work group perspectives toward…

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2366

Abstract

Purpose

Using survey data of nonprofit board members from racial/ethnic minority groups, the purpose of this paper is to investigate how the three work group perspectives toward diversity theorized by Ely and Thomas (2001) – discrimination-and-fairness (P1), access-and-legitimacy (P2), and integration-and-learning (P3) – are associated with minority group members’ inclusion experiences.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper investigates how an organization's motivations for board diversity, as perceived by racial/ethnic minority board members, drive various organizational- and board-level practices and behaviors, and ultimately impact their experience of inclusion. The paper uses two different operationalizations of the diversity perspectives to assess their impact on minority board members’ inclusion experiences. The hypothesized model was tested using partial least squares analyses on the responses of 403 racial/ethnic minority nonprofit board members.

Findings

Regardless of the measure used, racial/ethnic minority board members experienced increased feelings of inclusion as the perceived operating perspective for board diversity changed from P1 to P2 to P3, while concurrently the mediating factors influencing inclusion experiences changed in significance. Findings support the importance of the integration-and-learning perspective for the experience of inclusion by racial/ethnic minority board members.

Practical implications

Findings indicate that organizations that employ an integration-and-learning approach to diversity and focus on encouraging their majority group members to engage in inclusive behaviors, rather than on policies and procedures, will engender the racial/ethnic minorities’ experience of inclusion.

Originality/value

The paper quantitatively investigated how three organizational diversity paradigms are associated with the individual inclusion experiences of minority nonprofit board members.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 32 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2008

Margaret M. Hopkins and Diana Bilimoria

The purpose of this paper is to explore three research questions. Are there gender differences in the demonstration of emotional and social intelligence competencies? What…

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7919

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore three research questions. Are there gender differences in the demonstration of emotional and social intelligence competencies? What is the relationship between emotional and social intelligence competencies and success, and does gender moderate that relationship? Are there differences between the most successful male and female leaders in their demonstration of these competencies?

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a 360‐degree instrument to measure the demonstration of emotional and social intelligence competencies by top‐level executives in one financial services organization. Annual performance and potential assessments measured the participants' success. Regression analyses and tests of mean differences were used to analyze the research questions.

Findings

The results indicated that there were no significant differences between male and female leaders in their demonstration of emotional and social intelligence competencies. The most successful men and women were also more similar than different in their competency demonstration. However, gender did moderate the relationship between the demonstration of these competencies and success. Male leaders were assessed as more successful even when the male and female leaders demonstrated an equivalent level of competencies. Finally, distinctions were found between the most successful males and females and their typical counterparts.

Research limitations/implications

A field sample from one organization limits the generalizability of the results.

Practical implications

Implications for organizations and their leadership are discussed including the importance of a broad range of competencies used in assessments, the awareness of gender stereotypes and gender‐stereotypical behavior, and the acknowledgement of multiple measures of success.

Originality/value

This study highlights the moderating influence of gender between the demonstration of emotional and social intelligence competencies and success. Distinctions in competency demonstration between the most successful top‐level executives and the typical executives contribute to the literature and to leadership development practice.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

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