13 June 2024
Increase Female Representation: Parity in the Workplace

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A recent report from Ivey Business School’s Lawrence National Centre for Policy and Management outlines distinct strategies for effectively increasing female representation and achieving gender parity in the workplace, tailored to the predominant gender makeup of different industries.

Increase Female Representation in the Workplace: A Tailored Approach

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For decades, the issue of gender disparity in the workplace has been a persistent challenge, with women facing systemic barriers to equal representation and leadership opportunities. A recent report from Ivey Business School’s Lawrence National Centre for Policy and Management sheds light on this issue and proposes tailored strategies for organizations to effectively increase female representation.

Understanding Gender Imbalances

The report categorizes industries into three groups based on their gender composition:

1. Male-tilted: Industries where women make up 16 to 39 percent of the workforce.

2. Female-tilted: Industries where women make up 61 to 84 percent of the workforce.

3. Balanced: Industries where women make up 40 to 60 percent of the workforce.

Strategies for Male-tilted Industries

To address gender imbalances in male-dominated industries, the report recommends a “trickle-down effect” approach:

1. Hire More Women in Middle Management: By deliberately increasing the number of women in middle-management positions, organizations can signal a commitment to gender diversity and encourage women to pursue non-management roles.

2. Create Opportunities for Female Leadership Training: Provide middle managers with training and development programs to equip them with the skills and knowledge needed for higher leadership roles.

Strategies for Female-tilted Industries

For female-dominated industries, the report advocates a “bottom-up effect” approach:

1. Hire More Women in Non-management Roles: By increasing the representation of women in non-management positions, organizations can create a pipeline of female talent for middle and upper management.

2. Promote Women to Middle and Upper Management: Provide clear pathways for women to advance into leadership roles, ensuring that their skills and experience are recognized and rewarded.

Address the Leadership Gap

The report highlights the need to address the lack of women in top management positions, regardless of industry type. Organizations should:

1. Hire and Promote More Women in Top Management: Make a concerted effort to recruit and promote women into executive and leadership roles, breaking down barriers to their advancement.

2. Provide Career Progression Opportunities: Create structured career paths that allow women to progress through the ranks, gaining the necessary experience and skills for leadership positions.

Collective Action for Systemic Change

The report emphasizes the importance of collective action to overcome systemic challenges that hinder women’s career advancement. This includes:

1. Reevaluating Human Resources Practices: Organizations need to review and revise their human resources policies and practices to ensure they are fair and inclusive, promoting gender equality.

2. Government and Stakeholder Support: Governments and other stakeholders can play a crucial role by providing guidance, support, and incentives for organizations to implement gender diversity initiatives.

Wrapping Up

The report from Ivey Business School’s Lawrence National Centre for Policy and Management offers valuable insights and practical strategies for organizations to increase female representation and achieve gender parity in the workplace. By addressing gender imbalances and creating inclusive workplaces, organizations can unlock the full potential of their workforce and drive innovation and success.


1. What is the main challenge addressed in the report?

The report focuses on addressing gender disparity in the workplace, particularly the persistent issue of underrepresentation of women in leadership and management roles.

2. How does the report categorize industries based on gender composition?

The report categorizes industries into three groups: male-tilted, female-tilted, and balanced, based on the percentage of women in the workforce.

3. What strategies are recommended for male-tilted industries?

The report proposes a “trickle-down effect” approach, involving hiring more women in middle management and providing leadership training opportunities to equip them for higher roles.

4. How can female-tilted industries promote gender parity?

The report suggests a “bottom-up effect” approach, emphasizing the importance of hiring more women in non-management roles and creating clear pathways for their advancement into leadership positions.

5. What collective actions are necessary to achieve systemic change?

The report highlights the need for collective action, including reevaluating human resources practices to promote gender equality and seeking support from governments and stakeholders to implement gender diversity initiatives.

Links to additional Resources:

1. https://www.ivey.uwo.ca/ 2. https://www.ivey.uwo.ca/ivey-business-school-news-and-media/news/ivey-study-reveals-distinct-strategies-needed-to-achieve-gender-parity-in-the-workplace/ 3. https://www.ivey.uwo.ca/ivey-business-school-news-and-media/news/ivey-study-reveals-distinct-strategies-needed-to-achieve-gender-parity-in-the-workplace/attachment/ivey-study-reveals-distinct-strategies-needed-to-achieve-gender-parity-in-the-workplace/

Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: Gender equality, Workplace diversity, Leadership development

Gender equality
Gender equality, also known as sexual equality or equality of the sexes, is the state of equal ease of access to resources and opportunities regardless of gender, including economic participation and decision-making; and the state of valuing different behaviors, aspirations and needs equally, regardless of gender.UNICEF defined gender equality as...
Read more: Gender equality

Diversity (business)
Diversity, in a business context, is hiring and promoting employees from a variety of different backgrounds and identities. Those characteristics may include various legally protected groups, such as people of different religions or races, or backgrounds that are not legally protected, such as people from different social classes or educational...
Read more: Diversity (business)

Leadership development
Leadership development is the process which helps expand the capacity of individuals to perform in leadership roles within organizations. Leadership roles are those that facilitate execution of an organization's strategy through building alignment, winning mindshare and growing the capabilities of others. Leadership roles may be formal, with the corresponding authority...
Read more: Leadership development

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