WIBF attends the recent GEO WAGE research seminar

Iris Bohnet, our new patron, has been working with the UK Government Equalities Office (GEO) to support their Gender and Behavioural Insights Programme (GABI). Iris wrote the foreword to the programme’s official guidance for employers: Reducing the gender pay gap and improving gender equality in organisations: Evidence-based actions for employers which we encourage you to read on WIBF’s Knowledge Hub

There are now over 170 members of the academic network working with GEO to understand what can be done to close the gender pay gap and increase gender equality in the workplace.

WIBF attended the recent GEO WAGE research seminar which brought together the UK’s leading academics to explore the evidence.

Interesting points were made by Aneeta Rattan of London Business school about the importance of a growth mind-set and a culture which links success to hard work which enhances women’s sense of belonging in a male-dominated environment and enables them to perform.

Perceived “fit” with senior leaders was highlighted by Michelle Ryan of University of Exeter as a key driver of women’s ambition and intention to stay. Professor Jennifer Tomlinson of Leeds University talked about the need for organisations to ensure that part-time workers have access to training and development and challenging and prestigious projects to enable them to continue to progress in their careers. Dr Valerie Stead of University of Lancaster highlighted the fact that women face invisible codes of practice that can leave them feeling isolated and unsupported and place extra hurdles in their way. They feel they have to engage in additional labour that can adversely affect their chances of promotion.

Dr Elena Doldor’s work on the difference in feedback to male and female leaders as they progress through middle management shone a light on the bias that can exist in the private world of performance reviews. She believes this can only be mitigated through rigorous structural intervention. Lastly, Professor Sue Vinnicombe of Cranfield University called for employers to focus on changing the context as well as training their people.

There was a lot of discussion of the need to find ways to fix the culture by engaging men in the discussion of organisational behaviour. We hope to bring you more of this with our hot topics and distinguished speaker series throughout 2019, one of whom we hope will be Iris Bohnet herself.