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.

2012
Area of focus:
Unconscious Bias
This experimental research study tests a proposed new intervention to overcome gender biases in human resources processes. Employers hiring new staff typically use a joint evaluation process, comparing the expected performance of all possible recruits, whereas when allocating promotions and job assignments they more typically use single evaluation of an individual staff member's competencies. The authors argue that in separate evaluation the lack of comparison information invokes the evaluator's intuitive "fast-thinking", which can be prone to gender biases once the gender of the applicant becomes known.In a controlled experiment simulating a performance and remuneration system similar to a corporate workplace, subjects in one condition were asked to decide whether to hire a given candidate based on their past performance in single evaluation, and subjects in another condition were given a candidate of each gender to choose between. The research found a significant gender bias in the single evaluation condition, but none in the joint evaluation condition where past performance instead became the significant point of variance.
2013
Area of focus:
Unconscious Bias
An examination of how women leaders are perceived, and how they should act in response. Many feel that women are not socialised to compete in male-dominated areas, and must learn to behave as successful men do. However this creates a dilemma since women are evaluated by different (and double) standards - they may appear to be competent, or likeable, but seldom both. The author warns that focusing too much on one's image undermines their leadership purpose. She advises women leaders to develop an understanding of how gender shapes perception in their field, to maintain clarity of purpose when trying to deliver their message, and to dare to be themselves. 
2004
Area of focus:
New Zealand
This brochure provides case studies of four New Zealand women, each a working mother. The women describe how they balance work commitments with their personal lives. Their situations range from caring for one to five children, living in urban or rural environments, and engagement in a range of extra-curricular activity such as sport, study or community work. Their solutions to time management often rely on partners and networks of community or friends.Twenty-four-hour timetables of a typical working day are provided for each woman, and the brochure's conclusion recommends actions for employers, in terms of formal work policy and addressing the informal employment culture at their workplace.
2007
Area of focus:
New Zealand
Commissioned by the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC), this report is the first analysis of women's representation in New Zealand sports since 1994. The issue of women's representation was highlighted throughout the 1990s, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) adopted a proposal in 1996 which set a target of 20 percent female representation on individual sports boards by 2005.Undertaken in 2007, this study examined women's participation at the policy-making, management and national coaching levels. It found that 27 percent of board roles in New Zealand were held by women, which constituted no change from 1994. Ten boards had no women members, and 50 percent were below IOC's threshold. There were far fewer national development boards for women than in 1994, and most board had fewer women members than the proportion of women players of the sport. Men were more likely than women to be paid coaches of both male and female sportspeople. Twenty-six percent of respondents believed women met more barriers to advancement than men, with lack on mentors and role models, career break for domestic reasons, low confidence, lack of childcare and unconscious bias being the main reasons cited.The report recommends the NZOC pursue development of mentoring programmes, confidence-building strategies for high-achieving women, and social marketing to boards about the benefits of gender diversity. 
2009
Area of focus:
New Zealand
This report provides a thorough analysis of New Zealand workforce trends in terms of age and gender, drawn from historical census data from 1981 to 2006. The supply side of labour in New Zealand is increasingly female, and in the country's ageing labour force the largest area of growth has recently been in the demographic of women aged 50 and over, which has grown at twice the rate of the comparable male demographic. Projections of the labour force by age are provided to the year 2021.The report summarises the age and gender profiles of over 40 different occupations, with a range of statistics and graphics for each. In particular amongst lawyers, accountants, veterinarians and planners there is a profile of predominantly older men and younger women, suggesting a new trend in male-dominated disciplines, or a large number of women leaving in mid-career. The paper summarises a range of domestic and international research on women's issues within these professions, and recommends that employers be prepared for shifts to the professional status quo as a new generation of employees request flexible working arrangements and reduced-load work.
2010
Area of focus:
New Zealand
This report on diversity statistics within the Public Service was prepared by the State Services Commission, and focuses primarily on diversity in senior management.The Commission set targets in 1997 which it has yet to achieve, but progress has been made. The report presents trend analysis of employment data from 2001 to 2010, a literature review of international research on diversity in the public and private sectors, and qualitative data from interviews with Chief Executives and senior managers within the sector. Women comprise 59.7 percent of the public sector workforce, and 39.8 percent of senior management, a significant increase from 2001 statistics and much higher than the private sector's figure of 19 percent.The report highlights international findings that diversity has been correlated with improved performance at the national, organisational and team levels, and sets out four features of sustainable gender diversity in the public sector. Barriers to reaching targets are identified as the difficulty of achieving work-life balance, stereotyped beliefs, and a lack of visible role models. The interviewees were unanimously behind achieving diversity targets but expressed concern over slow progress, and some felt the situation might be getting worse; they identified the issue of "like begetting like" in terms of senior role placement, and the long tenure of senior roles meaning that initiatives take a long time to yield results. An appendix provides diversity statistics by agency. 
2010
Area of focus:
New Zealand
This academic study examines gender representation on the boards of private companies and public (crown) companies in New Zealand. It found that only 3.9 percent of directors on private boards were female, compared to 19.7 percent on crown company boards. It is theorised this arises from the fact that in New Zealand equal employment opportunity initiatives are only mandatory in the public sector, with appointing agencies and CEOs assuming responsibility for appointing women to boards.The paper found that the directorships in the public sector were held by a range of different women, with no evidence of an "old girls network". Controversy surrounding the notion of tokenism is discussed, as it relates to the media attention on appointments to the Brierley Investments Ltd board in the 1990s. Interviews were also conducted with four successful female directors, which identify positive approaches women can take on their path to directorship.
2014
Area of focus:
New Zealand
This research paper outlines challenges currently faced by the accounting sector in New Zealand, in terms of an emerging skills shortage at the senior chartered accountant level, and a workforce that is increasingly female. Twelve firms of various sizes were consulted to determine the prevalence of flexible work practices. The study found that while a majority of staff were female, a majority of partners and associates were men.Flexible working arrangements were used sparingly in many firms, and seen by many as being exclusively for working mothers. Working long hours is the norm at partner level, a status quo which is believed to be necessary for profitability; however the study identified that some of the firms which most utilised flexible work practices were amongst the most profitable.A discussion of the benefits to be gained from adoption of flexible arrangements is included, as are case studies of "success story" companies and an appendix defining workplace flexibility and associated terms.
2010
Area of focus:
New Zealand
This New Zealand academic research paper draws from an Equal Employment Opportunities Trust review of gender representation in the senior management of the NZX's 100 top-rated companies. Four percent of CEOs, and 19 percent of senior management overall are female, and the most likely role for women to hold was HR Manager, although this trend was less pronounced in New Zealand than in other countries.The author presents a thorough review of the literature on barriers to women's representation in management at the individual, organisational and societal level, and makes several recommendations for how these could be addressed.
2011
Area of focus:
Leadership
This independent study of women working in the New Zealand public sector was commissioned by the Public Service Association (PSA) union, stemming from observations that women experience an average pay gap of 18-30 percent compared with their male counterparts, and that their careers often appear to plateau early.The survey examined availability and use of flexible working arrangements, childcare arrangements, women's influence at work and career planning options. Overall it was found that women reported a good work/life balance, but many worked involuntary overtime and were not compensated. Access to flexible work arrangements was variable, often being left to the individual to manage, and with 37 percent of women having to fit their working hours to the demands of employers. Thirty-one percent of women were primary carers for children under 18, and 77 percent identified that they were volunteers within their communities.Forty-three percent of women reported experiencing bullying at their current organisation, and one in three had encountered discrimination, most often on grounds of gender, age or employment status. Examples are provided of bullying behaviours experienced.Data is presented on women's career plans, the availability of development options, and the perceived importance of various career supports, where managerial support and training were deemed the most valuable. 

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