This bibliography is a quick reference of abstracts on ways to improve women’s career paths within organisations. We have referenced 117 items, organised them into seven topic areas, and provided a brief summary of each item. Articles covering more than one topic have been included in each relevant area.

Building on the research used on Realising the opportunity, we have included other papers which contained significant data or analysis. We have also added in reports which contain concrete proposals for action or recommendations, and information on New Zealand.

We hope Inspiring Action will make it easier for human resources practitioners and managers, Chief Executive Officers and leadership teams, to identify practical steps to take to improve women’s career pathways in organisations. To find articles, use the search function below or download the full report.

2013
Area of focus:
Leadership
This report provides an overview of the business case for diversity, and examines the “leaking pipeline” of New Zealand women’s path to governance and executive management in light of a range of local and international research. Three areas of focus are examined in detail: unconscious bias against women in the workplace, and its influence on women’s recruitment and career progression; human resource processes relating to women’s leaving the workforce for career breaks, and their subsequent re-entry; and flexible working arrangements to address individual and business needs of the workforce.The report recommends a three-pronged approach combining changes to workplace structures and policies, addressing issues embedded within workplace cultures, and systemic organisational strategies implemented over time by committed leadership.
2013
Area of focus:
Leadership
This report summarises a British Government Inquiry into increasing women's representation in the senior management of UK business. The proportion of women on the boards of FTSE100 companies has risen from 10.5 percent in 2010 to 17.3 percent in 2013. However, these are primarily non-executive director appointments. The report identifies a failure of the leadership pipeline to increase the number of women in management, and makes recommendations to business, executive search firms, investors, female executives and to the British Government on how the situation could be improved. Each section contains lengthy discussion of relevant issues, actions, and some sections provide case studies of how the actions have been implemented in major companies.The paper provides a good introduction to concepts of unconscious bias, career breaks and return to work, the need to normalise flexible working arrangements, and mentoring and sponsorship. Collecting and reporting diversity information at all levels ofan organisation is argued to be the fundamental first step to effecting change.Recommendations to government include extending gender diversity reporting requirements to include the three levels below the executive committee, and accelerating implementation of planned tax reforms to benefit working parents. 
2012
Area of focus:
Leadership
This is a chapter of an academic text summarising and building on Eagly's 2007 article in the Harvard Business Review (ibid), with updated statistics and citation of more recent research. It restates Eagly's thesis that the obstacles faced by women on their journey to senior leadership form a "labyrinth" rather than the traditional conception of the "glass ceiling". These obstacles are classified into the three domains of family division of labour, organisational challenges, and cultural stereotypes and discrimination against women as leaders. Each domain is discussed in depth, with a particularly thorough description of research on the psychology of prejudice, and on styles of leadership. 
2007
Area of focus:
Leadership
This magazine article presents a succinct and readable summary of the challenges which stand between women and executive management, and is recommended as an introduction to the field.The authors argue that the metaphor of a "glass ceiling" is a misdiagnosis as there is no single, imposed barrier; rather, a variety of obstacles combine to impede women's progress. These are each described, with reference to research, and include: lingering prejudice,a resistance to female leadership due to gender stereotyping, women's tendency towards transformational leadership styles, family commitments and misperceptions of the effects of this, and a lack of time for and access to networks. A sidebar argues against the belief that gender equality will be achieved naturally over time, as factors in society appear to be actively working against progress and must be consciously addressed.The article concludes with a comprehensive list of management interventions which have been shown to work. 
1996
Area of focus:
Unconscious Bias
This academic paper builds on previous research which found that management students in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany associate the managerial role with characteristics more commonly held by men than by women. The same methodology was here used to assess sex role stereotypes and beliefs about the characteristics of successful managers held by students in Japan and the People's Republic of China, and found that male and female students in both countries hold a similar "think manager - think male" bias, although this association is somewhat less pronounced amongst the female Chinese students surveyed.The authors conclude that managerial sex typing appears to be a worldwide phenomenon, and recommendations are made for further research and remedial action. The paper includes a description of the survey tool used, the Schein 92-item Descriptive Index. 

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