Financial Times: Women struggle to close corporate America’s gender gap

17 Mar 2023
Cultural and societal barriers continue to frustrate efforts to make diversity stick in white-collar fields.

Originally found at Financial Times

American corporations held the first diversity sessions in the late 1960s, instructing leaders who were overwhelmingly white and male on how to manage the workplace after the US made it illegal to discriminate against employees based on sex or race.

“The landmark Civil Rights Act of 1965 spawned an era of training . . . in response to the barrage of discrimination suits,” a 2008 review of the programmes in the Academy of Management Learning and Education said. Most managers were given “a litany of do’s and don’ts and maybe a couple of case studies” during sessions that tended to last roughly four hours, the authors found.

Despite its perfunctory nature, the training was one factor that paved the way for awave of women to enter higher-paid, male-dominated fields such as law, finance andbusiness. Expanded access to college education and birth control also helped push themedian wage for US women up from 65 per cent of men’s earnings in 1962 to 80 percent in 2002, according to an analysis by Pew.

Continue reading the original article at Financial Times.

Read the original research in Academy of Management Learning & Education.