Faculty at London Business School are speaking up for gender equality this
International Women’s Day.
The global celebration, marked each year on 8 March, recognises women’s
achievements across all facets of society. The theme for this year’s International
Women’s Day is ‘choose to challenge’. It encourages everyone to bring attention to
instances of gender inequality and bias, and work towards a more inclusive world.
Here, three Organisational Behaviour faculty draw on their expertise to share what
they choose to challenge this International Women’s Day.
Gillian Ku, Professor of Organisational Behaviour, London Business School:
“From the words we use to describe babies (girls are often ‘beautiful’ and ‘sweet’
whereas boys are ‘strong’ and ‘tough’) to the role models children have (mothers are
often carers and fathers are often breadwinners), it is hard for children not to be
surrounded and affected by gender roles and stereotypes.
“I choose to challenge these gender roles and stereotypes so that little girls can grow
up to be scientists and assertive without backlash, and little boys can be nursery
school teachers and cry without having their manhood impugned.”
Dana Kanze, Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour, London Business School:
“I choose to challenge gender inequality and bias in 2021 by translating my co-author
and my recent research findings into practice. These recent findings demonstrate
that investors misperceive female founders to be a ‘lack of fit’ with their ventures
when catering to male-dominated (as opposed to female-dominated) industries, while
male founders are perceived similarly, regardless of industry served.
“Such misperceptions of lack of industry fit penalise female founders catering to
male-dominated industries in terms of funding amounts, valuations, and retained
equity. I look forward to familiarising investors as to this misperception and what can
be done to reduce its incidence.”
Laura Giurge, Postdoctoral Research Fellow of Organisational Behaviour, London Business School:
"We all have 24 hours each day. But the value of time is often determined by how we spend it. On average, women spend more hours than men on low value tasks at work, such as note taking or agenda setting, that prevent them from developing skills necessary for professional advancement. Similarly, at home, women typically do the lion’s share of childcare and chores, leaving little time for leisure or rest that are crucial for well-being. “I choose to challenge these gender inequalities by developing research-driven interventions that create awareness and enable women to pursue activities that matter to them.”