Cultural Transformation – No Longer a Need to ‘Fix' Women - London, 20th May
For more than a quarter of a century, companies have been trying to ‘fix women’ to adapt to the ‘masculine’ culture of their organisations. As a subsequent of the global downturn many companies are looking at making fundamental changes to improve the performance of their organisation. This could present an opportunity for companies to start looking at ways in which they can transform the culture of their organisations to become truly inclusive.
Companies may need to look at their strategies, structures and processes to embrace the talent of women and the benefits they bring to the table. The economic values and contributions of women can help organisations with driving forward innovation and sustainable growth.
Instead we continue to give women the tools to cope in the current culture of organisations, but the real crux of the gender issue still remains unresolved. Women are still expected to demonstrate masculine qualities, such as aggression, competiveness and confidence to get ahead in the business world.
If women still have to take on the role of ‘honorary men’ have we really made any progress when the culture of organisations remains the same?
WIBF is delighted to be running this event in conjunction with European Professional Women's Network.
Our expert panel come from a range of skill sets and sectors, including:
• Dr Ruth Sealy, Senior Research Fellow and Deputy Director, International Centre for Women Leaders, Cranfield School of Management
• Karen Stefanyszyn, Head of Leadership and Culture, Aviva Group
• Rob Barkworth, Psychologist, Pearn Kandola
The debate will explore what part ‘we’ can play to challenge the existing ‘masculine’ culture and how can we do it effectively to make a culture shift to one that is genuinely inclusive.
Dr Ruth Sealy
Ruth’s research interests cover many aspects of women in leadership, including board composition and corporate governance. Her doctoral research considered the importance of role models for female directors in investment banks, and how the lack of them may affect their work identity formation and career aspirations. Building on contemporary literature on the cognitive construction of role models, organizational demography and work identity formation, her research explains the importance of relational identification for women in a male-dominated workforce.
Ruth has been the lead researcher of the annual Female FTSE Report since 2007. Sponsored by government and major organizations, the report analyzes the demographic composition of the FTSE 350 corporate boards and executive committees. Ruth has presented the report’s findings to both academic and practitioner audiences. The annual report has a considerable reputation and research impact, with the findings cited in approaching 100 broadsheet newspapers, radio and television channels, and practitioner journals across the world each year.
Karen is Head of leadership & Culture for Aviva Group, a global organisation with 54, 000 employees, 45 million customers, offering Fund Management, Long Term Savings and Investments and General Insurance. She started working life in Insurance 31 years ago, moving into the field of HR in 1990. Since then she has worked across HR, Learning & Development, Business Partnering and Organisation Development, her 'working home'. Karen has been instrumental in introducing strengths based approaches to Aviva.
Rob is a psychologist and diversity specialist based in Pearn Kandola’s Oxford office. Rob started his career at the Institute for Employment Studies evaluating Government policies and processes for their impact in terms of diversity. He joined Pearn Kandola five years ago where he has gained expertise in running diversity programmes, advising organisations on their diversity strategies and has continued to research diversity issues in organisations.
As both a psychologist and diversity specialist Rob believes that psychology has a fundamental role to play in managing diversity effectively. Rob has a deep interest in unconscious bias, how this impacts decision making and ultimately people’s career outcomes. Rob has recently been helping organisations to understand the link between unconscious bias and diversity outcomes.
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