The most recent research laying waste to the claim that women’s lack of confidence accounts for their failure to break the glass ceiling comes from Alison Wynn, a research associate at the Stanford VMware Women’s Leadership Innovation Lab, whose paper, Pathways toward Change, was published this month in the influential journal Gender & Society. Wynn’s research found that employer programs that aim to address women’s lack of confidence through mentoring place the blame for women’s inequality – and the responsibility for addressing it – on individual women, rather than structures, which ultimately makes them ineffective. “They’re rooted in the belief that if … women can be taught to behave more assertively and demonstrate valued skills (through mentorship), then perhaps gender inequalities can be reduced,” Wynn wrote in an article about the research for the Harvard Business Review. “But this thinking fails to do one important thing: hold the organisation responsible for the role it plays in causing inequality.” This new study builds on research published last year in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology by Grainne Fitzsimons, a professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Fitzsimons looked at the effects of so-called “DIY” approaches, which posit that women can… Read full this story
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