Women Leadership and Equal Opportunities in Financial Sector

Abstract

The issue of female leadership in the financial sector holds high significance for the establishment of equity principles in the society. Because of the existing prejudice, women are underrepresented in the contemporary business world significantly. Various gender equality (GE) tools have been created to address the specified concern, yet the problem persists.

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The research will aim at locating the current gender equity rates in the designated area, identifying the existing tools for gender mainstreaming, and measuring the effects that the specified tools have on the gender equality rates in the financial leadership field.

The research hypothesis is that a balanced tool of gender mainstreaming is more efficient in promoting women’s rights in the designated area than more radical methods. The study will also consider a null hypothesis (i.e., there is no difference in the use of traditional and radical gender equity tools).

The study will be carried out with the help of a quantitative analysis of the effects that gender mainstreaming (GM) and Gender Responsive Policing (GRP) have on the equality rates. The key data will be gathered with the help of purposive sampling.

The significance of GM, as opposed to GRP, can be viewed as the expected outcome of the study.

Introduction

The issue regarding GE has been on the global agenda for quite a while. However, despite the numerous attempts to promote the concept of equal rights in the global business, inequality remains a part of numerous companies’ functioning. Seeing that the problem is often attributed to the cultural specifics of the organizations, a variety of tools for promoting GE has been designed, some of them being rather mild, others being very harsh.

Problem Statement

Because of the adoption of both mild approaches such as GM and very harsh ones such as ERP, the inconsistency in the promotion of equality principles in the contemporary organizations leads to the lack of balance in interpersonal relationships between the members of global companies, a drop in the sustainability rates, and the creation of rather hostile workplace environment. Therefore, the choice must be made between the specified types of GE promotion.

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Research Significance

The outcomes of the study may prompt the solution to the current problem regarding the introduction of equal rights principles in every global organization.

Research Questions

In the developed states with an advanced GE philosophy, are balanced GM tools more efficient in promoting GE than more radical equality rights principles (ERPs)?

Research Objectives

  • Measuring equality rates in the organizations chosen for the research;
  • Identifying the tools used by these organizations to promote GE among the staff members;
  • Comparing the effects of the specified tools to determine the probability of the GE and GRP tools failing to create an environment of equal opportunities for men and women in the global economy;
  • Suggesting further avenues for addressing the situation.

Research Methodology

Design

Seeing that there is no obvious need to quantify the existing data to compare the effects of GM and ERP as the tools for promoting GE in the workplace, the adoption of a qualitative study should be viewed as a possibility. Specifically, it will be reasonable to consider phenomenology as the means of evaluating the effects of the equality tools in question.

Participants

The information regarding the GE rates in the organization will be gathered by considering the correlation between the number of male and female leaders in the financial sector. Particularly, 20 companies will be chosen for the analysis.

Tools

Interviews were conducted with the HR departments of the organizations in question. Afterward, an observation grid was constructed so that the information could be arranged accordingly.

Instrumentation

To arrange the data, an observation grid was used. Specifically, the correlation between the numbers of female CEOs and the use of the above-mentioned tools was considered in the study.

Data collection

Human rights. It should be noted that each of the participants was fully aware of and comfortable with the use of the data provided in the study. Every participant gave an informed consent prior to the start of the research.

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Research Limitations

One must admit, though, that the study in question has a range of limitations, the number of participants being the key one. Seeing that only a limited range of companies could be analyzed, the outcomes of the research, though admittedly generalized, may be inapplicable to a specific corporate design.

Project Structure

The project opens with an overview of the existing information on the issue of female leadership in the financial sector. Afterward, the research process and key outcomes will be described with the further discussion of their implications. The study will end with the description of the key limitations, the provision of recommendations, and the conclusion.

Literature Review

Problem Statement

Although a range of tools for promoting GE in the workplace have been developed, the issue of gender profiling still remains a problem on the global agenda (Kumra, Simpson, &Burke, 2014). The specified tendency can be attributed to the fact that the problem is addressed with the help of the measures that are the exact opposite of each other. On the one hand, there is gender mainstreaming, which is viewed as a mild method of promoting the concept of equality in the workplace. On the other hand, there is the Gender Responsive Policing (GPR), which is represented by a much harsher set of tools. Since the two approaches contradict each other and often lead to controversial results, one must be chosen as the leading tool and supported correspondingly.

Literature Review

Studies show that women, in fact, are underrepresented as leaders in the contemporary financial sector (Nukhari et al., 2014). The specified phenomenon can be attributed to the prevalence of cultural bias and social prejudice in the designated area. Herein the need to fight the controversy lies.

However, the tools used in this battle are far from being perfect. Studies show that the GM method, which is defined as the tool for promoting equality on a global level (Hedlund & Andersson, 2014), it often positioned as mild and, therefore, ineffective (Kaur, 2015). Nevertheless, studies show that GM works slowly but surely, altering the very foundation of the contemporary society and making people accept the idea of GE (Prašović & Diuc, 2013).

Data Evaluation

The GPR approach, in its turn, seems to be gaining an increasingly large popularity (O’Connelly, 2014). However, researches point to the fact that the given strategy may backfire by causing a backlash and jeopardizing the very foundation of GE. Indeed, when being pushed to the breaking point, the ideas of GE may be subverted, and the male demographics may experience discrimination instead.

Analysis and Interpretation

The information represented above shows that the GPR strategy is typically used as the most simple one. However, the GM strategy is usually preferred as the most reasonable one.

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Methodology

Research Framework

The study design can be defined as qualitative.

Independent variables

The study is aimed at considering the way in which the variables listed below alter the dependent variables:

  • Social prejudices;
  • Inequality rates

Dependent Variables

The study is going to measure the influence of independent variables on:

  • Effects of GM strategies;
  • Effects of ERP strategies.

Research Hypothesis

The adoption of GM is preferable to the use of the ERP strategies due to the negative social effects of the latter.

Research Instrument

The observation grid has been chosen as the key research instrument. The specified tool allows for identifying the key tendencies in modern organizations as far as RE policies are concerned. Moreover, the effects of the specified policies can be tracked down easily with the help of the grid analysis.

Sample Size

The research includes 100 organizations. Out of the specified number of companies, 20 were chosen based on the principle of purposeful sampling.

Data Collection

The data was collected with the help of personal interviews conducted with the HR members of the companies under analysis. Particularly, the statistical information regarding the percentage of males and females in the designated area was acquired, the attitudes of the staff members towards the promotion of the specified concept were identified, and the general moods concerning the concept of GE were assessed in the process.

Data Analysis

The data retrieved in the course of the study was analyzed with the help of the observation grid mentioned above. Specifically, the information was arranged in accordance with the responses that the two methods of addressing gender inequality triggered among the employees, managers, and company leaders, as well as the change in equality rates that the specified strategies contributed to.

Results and Discussions

According to the research outcomes, GM is the superior tool for maintaining GE rates and reinforcing the significance of the equality culture among the company members. Particularly, the study has shown that the ratio of male to female financial leaders approached (75%), was equal to (10%) and in some cases even exceeded (15%) 1. The specified outcomes point quite graphically to the fact that eh use of mild and non-aggressive strategies such as GM should be viewed as the key to managing the existing inequality issue in most global organizations.

Male/Female financial leaders ratio Less than 1 1 More than 1
15 2 3
GM use for GE promotion Positive effects Percentage Negative effects Percentage
  • Reinforcement of the principles of equality;
  • Promotion of different behavioral patterns;
  • Redesign of the staff’s system of values
100%

80%

80%

Slow pace of change may discourage staff 5%
GRP use for GE promotion Positive effects Percentage Negative effects Percentage
  • Reinforcement of the principles of equality
  • 40
  • Drop in staff’s motivation rates;
  • Poor organizational environment;
  • Performance rates reduction
20%;

30%;

35%

As the grid provided above shows, most companies that adopt the GM policy have attained much more impressive results in terms of promoting GE than those that used GRP as the means of reinforcing the required corporate ethics and organizational behavior standards. The findings of the study, therefore, point quite clearly to the necessity to resume the GM approach.

The study has also shown that the effects of the two approaches are strikingly different when it comes to considering the intrinsic changes such as the motivation of the staff members and the factors that cause them to alter their organizational behavior. A closer look at the information provided by the companies using the GRP approach has shown that the adoption of the designated tool triggers an increase in the number of workplace conflicts and a significant drop in the staff’s motivation rates.

Study Limitations, Recommendations, and Conclusion

Limitations

Naturally, this research has certain limitations. First and most obvious, the number of participants is finite, which means that the study outcomes cannot be viewed as impeccable premises for making generalized statements regarding the usefulness of a certain policy. In addition, the information required for the analysis was much more difficult to obtain and use in the study as it could not be quantified.

Recommendations

It is strongly suggested that companies should promote the concept of G as the basis for managing GE issues in the organizational setting, particularly, when it comes to the financial department thereof. Thus, it is strongly suggested that the companies experiencing difficulties with the introduction of the principles of GE in their organizational environment should consider mild and unobtrusive tools such as GM as opposed to radical and harsh measures such as GRP. Although the latter might seem a rather efficient and fast means of restoring the rights of women in the organizational setting, it is likely to trigger further conflicts among the company members.

Reference List

Hedlund, G., & Andersson, R. (2014). Gender mainstreaming as transnational flow of ideas in gender politics. Örebro University Press: Göteborg. Web.

Kaur, A. (2015). Ensuring better natural resource management through gender mainstreaming. Journal Krishi Vigyan, 3(1), 32–39. Web.

Kumra, S., Simpson, P., &Burke, R. J. (2014). The Oxford Handbook of gender in organizations. Oxford, UK: OUP Oxford. Web.

Nukhari, S. J., Hassan, A., Bukhari, S. B. A., Haseeb, S., Bukhari, S. A., & Sohail, A. (2014).. Leadership style and employees performance: Evidence from banking sector of Pakistan. Journal of Education and Literature, 2(2), 37–48. Web.

O’Connelly, H. (2014). More of the same, or radical change? Options for the successor to the EU’s Gender Action Plan 2010-2015. Web.

Prašović, A., & Diuc, M. S. (2013). The relationship among transformational leadership, gender and performance in finance sector. International Conference on Economic and Social Studies, 2(2), 121–129. Web.

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