Reframing Diversity in Management: Diversity and Human Resource Management

Reframing Diversity in Management: Diversity and Human Resource Management

Ashanti De León (London Metropolitan University, UK), Wilson Ozuem (University of Gloucestershire, UK) and Jummy Okoya (University of East London, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6912-1.ch091
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The development of new corporate governance codes calls for boardroom and top management diversity. Nonetheless, a lack of diversity in organisations is a worldwide situation that may vary from one country to another. This suggests that rather than relying upon established economies as a guideline, a more rounded understanding may emerge from studies that also explore a wider range of countries. This chapter examines the varieties of top management diversities, particularly the barriers and challenges women faces in management positions. It considers the grounds for an integrated approach to under-representation of women in upper rank positions, and explicates concerted efforts to improve board room diversity.
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Whilst early research on women in top management has focused on the under-representation of women in upper rank levels (Burson-Maersteller, 1977; Kanter, 1977), others have addressed this issue based on the barriers women faced and their different roles in society (Burke, 1994; Burke and Mattis, 2000; Catalyst, 2000). Nonetheless, a body of research carried out to analyse female representation in upper rank levels reveals that lack of equality remains a reality in many countries showing the persistence effect of these invisible barriers (Pomeroy, 2007; Pichleret al, 2008;Morrison & Von Glinow, 1990). Therefore, many researchers have continued to monitor this issue worldwide (Burke and Mattis, 2000; Catalyst, 2012; Davidson & Burke, 2011), and through the foundation of organisations such as Catalyst, statistics and numerical data is frequently presented to monitor the advance of gender diversity amongst large companies. These studies clearly acknowledge that boardrooms remain dominated by men. Regardless, the participation of women has slightly increased over the past 15 years.Women hold 16% of board seats and only 4.2% are appointed as CEO (Catalyst, 2013). Yet, existing data (Vinnicome et al, 2008; Burke, 2000; Davidson & Burke, 2011; Daily et al, 2000; Zelechwoski & Bilimoria, 2004; Vinnicome et al, 2000) are focusing on larger economies in developed countries and little has been written about developing countries in this context.

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