In memory of our friend and colleague, we are delighted to launch the Wo+Men’s Leadership Centre Professor Sucheta Nadkarni Research Seminar Series to honour Sucheta’s research and generosity mentoring students. The inaugural Professor Sucheta Nadkarni Research Seminar will be given by Dr Lionel Paolella – presenting the paper that he was collaborating on with Sucheta at the time of her passing: A Licence to Tick-off the Box: Female Representation in Top Management and Organisational Diversity Priority.

In contrast to the primarily virtuous predictions of existing theories, recent reports surprisingly indicate that the push by organisations for achieving gender parity at the top has hurt, rather than improved, opportunities for junior women.

In his talk, Dr Paolella draws on the organisational licencing theory to address this puzzling question not explained by existing theories: Why does greater female representation at the top hurt the hiring of females at the lower levels? He theorises that organisations increase the female representation at the top to address pressure from external stakeholders such as clients. This “good deed” gives organisations a licence to become complacent in prioritising gender diversity efforts at the lower levels that are far removed from the scrutiny of external stakeholders.

This reduced organisational priority in expending efforts and resources to promote gender equality at the lower levels, results in reduced employment offers to women at the lower levels. Furthermore, the presence of senior male executives in organisation-wide diversity committees reduces this organisational licencing effect of gender diversity at the top. Support for this model is found in a unique longitudinal dataset of the 200 largest US law firms.


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Date: 13 October 2020
Start Time: 13:00
End Time: 14:00

 

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(where applicable, further details sent upon registration)

Event timings

Date: 13 October 2020
Start Time: 13:00
End Time: 14:00