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.

2011
Area of focus:
New Zealand
This New Zealand academic study performed a telephone survey of a sample of 500 workers throughout the country. Respondents were asked to state the type of organisation they worked for, what formal diversity initiatives they were aware of operating within their organisation, which types of support were available to them, whether the organisation provided family-friendly work options such as flexible hours or part-time roles, and their general impression of how accepting their employers were of diversity within the organisation.Public sector employers received higher ratings than private sector companies, but overall few employees were aware of formal programmes in their organisation. Employees who reported higher levels of family- and EEO-friendly practices were more committed to and more trusting of their employers, and more satisfied in their jobs. A discussion of the history of diversity management is included, especially regarding attitudes and implementation in New Zealand, as is a brief analysis of New Zealand workforce trends at the time of writing.
2011
Area of focus:
New Zealand
This research study and report from the Institute of Policy Studies identifies a significant recent downturn in the number of female public sector Chief Executives appointed by the State Services Commissioner, from 35 percent in the period 2000-2004, to 4 percent in 2005-2010.The study examines SSC appointment data and Human Resource Capability survey results to determine the extent to which women apply for, and are shortlisted for these roles, and finds that while there has been a downturn in applications, it is not as significant as that in appointments. An analysis is conducted of the talent pool accessed for CE appointments, which is predominantly senior management in the New Zealand public sector, where women held 40 percent representation in 2010. Qualitative interviews were conducted with staff involved in, or observing, the appointments process, and a variety of barriers and recommended actions for aspiring women are described.The report includes a description of the SSC appointments process, and concludes with recommendations to the SSC on how the process might be altered to ensure greater fairness and gender representation.
2011
Area of focus:
Action, New Zealand
This report to the New Zealand Olympic Committee presents the outcomes of a pilot mentoring programme for women entering sports governance.Over the six month pilot a regional peer mentoring group was formed, and one-on-one pair mentoring relationships established for women working within a variety of sports. The report describes the processes employed across the three phases of scoping and establishment, implementation and monitoring, and evaluation, and summarises key learnings from each stage. Promotion of the programme, resource development, identification and selection of participants, establishment of agreements and ongoing support are each outlined.The report concludes that the pilot was successful in meeting its stated objectives, and a range of recommendations are provided to refine the process as it continues.
2011
Area of focus:
New Zealand
This article compares policy strategies implemented in Norway and New Zealand to increase women's participation on corporate boards. It provides historical context to the policies enacted in each country, and contrasts the "soft regulation" of New Zealand, which encourages equal employment opportunities but lacks any legislative accompaniment, with that of Norway, where a mandatory quota of 40 percent female membership was instituted as a requirement for registration on the stock exchange.The authors interviewed successful female directors in each country, and quote excerpts from these to illustrate convergence and divergence of attitudes between the cultures. Women from both countries agreed that board roles should be appointed on the basis of merit, and that networking was an important aspect of the appointment process which women needed to develop. New Zealand women interviewed were unanimously opposed to the concept of instituting quotas, as they felt it inappropriate for the business context; Norwegian women supported quotas as they felt it was the only way to achieve equality in a male-dominated culture. The article concludes with a discussion of the merits and drawbacks of each strategy.
2011
Area of focus:
New Zealand
This report provides a detailed analysis of women's participation in the New Zealand labour market. It presents a comprehensive range of employment statistics and includes comparisons with other economies within the OECD. The author estimates that by closing the gap between female and male employment rates the country's GDP could be boosted 10 percent, and labour issues created by the Christchurch earthquakes could be resolved.The report recommends policy initiatives in subsidising childcare, reviewing the Working for Families high effective marginal tax rate, and introducing incentives for highly-educated females to enter new industries and remain in the workforce for longer.It also calls for further research into why women choose to enter certain industries, analysis of the policies Scandinavian countries have adopted to encourage female employment, and an increase in women holding leadership positions in New Zealand.
2012
Area of focus:
New Zealand
This resource, part of a series on gender equity in employment, was adapted from guidelines developed by the Department of Labour (now Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment). It provides employers or human resources officers with three tools to guide examination of employment practices to ensure equity. The tools broadly deal with collecting and understanding business data, identifying key differences in employment between women and men, and planning a response to differences identified. A wide range of key questions are provided, to help in these assessments.Appendices provide a list of common symptoms of inequity, and their possible causes, as well as a glossary of terminology and descriptions of the relevant New Zealand legislation. 
2012
Area of focus:
New Zealand
An online survey of engineering graduates of both genders was followed by interviews with a smaller sample to determine what motivates men and women to study engineering, and what differences exist in their post-graduate experiences. Data was collected for a range of employment issues, attitudes and experiences.The study finds that engineering is a predominantly male-dominated profession, although women gravitate towards some specialisations and form a majority of graduates in biomedical engineering. Women did not perceive a gender barrier to career progression, although some reported gendered attitudes in the workplace. Men were twice as likely to be earning in the top pay bracket, whereas women were three times more likely to be working in the lowest brackets. Career progression often depends on hours worked, and women returning from having children were more likely to work part-time, impeding their chances of promotion.The study concludes that a lack of good career guidance exists at the school level to promote the engineering profession, particularly to girls; it recommends school visits from engineer graduates to increase new enrolments.
2012
Area of focus:
New Zealand
This academic research paper from a human resources journal presents an evaluation study of the New Zealand Women in Leadership programme (NZWIL). Women comprise the majority of both students and staff at universities, however despite ongoing difficulties in attracting and retaining talent, women are still underrepresented in senior academic and staff positions. NZWIL is a national-level leadership development programme intended to address this issue, which has received the endorsement of eight universities nationwide.The authors provide an introduction to the concept of leadership development and its argued benefits, which include increased self-confidence and building networks. A background is provided to NZWIL, as well as an outline of its programme. A longitudinal study of NZWIL participants finds that 80 percent of alumni report increased self-confidence. Other benefits have included the formation of women's networks throughout New Zealand universities, a perception of increased commitment to leadership, and alumni being actively sought for leadership roles. Over half of faculty staff who participated had applied for and received promotions in the year following completion of NZWIL. The authors conclude with an analysis of the guiding principles which have contributed to NZWIL's success.
2012
Area of focus:
New Zealand
This is the fifth in a series of biennial reports on women's participation in various levels of New Zealand society. The introduction presents a summary of recent research and trends, and identifies three main strategies being implemented internationally to increase gender representation, as well as the issues surrounding their adoption in New Zealand.The United Nations Women's Empowerment Principles and the foundation of the 25 Percent Group are also discussed. Statistical tables comparing New Zealand's percentage of female company directors with those of other countries are provided, observing that New Zealand is losing ground through slow progress from its former "leader" position.The main body of the census reports the status of women in board director roles, representation in management and general workforce, and pay gaps across a wide range of sectors, from NZX and public sector boards to specific industries and professions throughout the country. Several industries are examined in greater detail, including the public sector (by department), national and regional sporting bodies and medical specialisations.Special reports are also provided for women's role in New Zealand rugby governance and in the reconstruction and recovery efforts following the Canterbury earthquakes.The conclusion restates eight action points from the Commission's 2010 census, reporting on progress made towards these. Eight new recommended actions are presented to government and NGOs for the coming two years. 
2012
Area of focus:
New Zealand
This research study conducted by a management consultancy firm seeks to provide insight into closing the gender gap in senior management. Successful women in business, either Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) or executives reporting directly to the CEO, from Australia and New Zealand took part in behavioural event interviews, and many returned later for a roundtable discussion.The report provides their answers on the challenges they faced in their rise to the top, their main sources of support, and their key competencies.Amongst other findings, the study found that the women were twice as likely to have driven their own careers by switching to new roles at new companies, than they were to have been internally promoted or headhunted; partners were the biggest sources of support, followed by managers and mentors; self-confidence and courage was the competency most often cited; and few of the women reported issues with work-life balance, or thought that human resources programmes had helped them. Recommendations are made for organisations wishing to address their gender balance, and for aspiring young executives of either gender. 

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