BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – For many years, professional women have been told to “be more assertive” or “less emotional,” while also being advised to “demand a seat at the table.”
But the notion of placing the responsibility on women to advance within organizations is thankfully beginning to change, said Carolyn Goerner, clinical professor of management at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business (pictured below). Companies are beginning to see the value of being more inclusive.
“Beyond mere diversity or having a representative number of employees from different social categories, the best companies today focus on inclusion,” Goerner writes in the article, “Creating companies where women can thrive,” in the latest issue of Business Horizons. “In an inclusive company climate, workers feel comfortable bringing their ‘full selves’ to work.
“While traditional thinking about gender diversity suggests that women need to be more like mainstream men to succeed, current perspectives of inclusion assert that women are necessary in organizations because they are women,” she added. “The unique skills and perspectives of women help a company reach new levels of success.”
Goerner, who joined the Kelley School in 2000 and has coached many successful female students, is guest editor of the September/October 2019 issue of Business Horizons, an academic and practitioner journal published by the Kelley School. The issue features a special section on issues facing women in the corporate world, featuring seven articles and an interview with Cheryl Henry, president and CEO of Ruth’s Hospitality Group, the parent company of Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
Published bimonthly in partnership with Elsevier Ltd., Business Horizons often tackles important questions, challenges and matters facing the business arena. Recent special issues have focused on cybersecurity, international business, and the role of social media.
Articles in this issue include “Bolstering the female CEO pipeline: Equalizing the playing field and igniting women’s potential as top-level leaders,” authored by three women who are top consultants in thought leadership at Korn Ferry. Other articles focus on addressing incivility against women in male-dominated STEM industries, gender diversity issues in IT companies, and the imposter fears that female entrepreneurs unwittingly allow to hinder their success.
Most of the articles in the special section were written by women, thus offering many female faculty members with an avenue for their research. Most of the articles also were developed as part of a March 2018 conference held by Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management, “The Breaking Bias: Leadership Excellence and Gender in Organizations.” As such, this month’s edition of Business Horizons also reflects a unique collaboration between two of Indiana’s top business schools.
“The articles … provide important suggestions to guide companies that are committed to both diversity and inclusion,” Goerner said.
Business Horizons is available to readers through university and school libraries with subscriptions to it and other academic journals. Individuals also can obtain individual articles or subscribe by going to ScienceDirect.com.