MARCH NEWSLETTER Centre for Gender Economics and Innovation

Get the latest Newsletter to find out the latest on Gender Economics and the GGEC15 Symposium at : http://centreforgendereconomics.org/march-2015-new…erences-ggec15/

 

Call for Papers, GGEC15 Academic Symposium Sydney

Photo credit Freedigitalphotos.net

Photo credit Freedigitalphotos.net

About the Symposium

The next Australian International Gender Economics Global Conference, the GGEC15 will be held at the University of NSW, city campus on 10 June of 2015.  This will be an academic session with the major conference taking place every second year. The theme for the 2015 Conference is “Gender Economics, Innovation, Performance”.  Find out more here http://centreforgendereconomics.org/ggec15-sydney/

ABOUT GENDER ECONOMICS

Article written by Susanne Moore – The Centre for Gender Economics 1 November 2013

Gender Economics is the fusion of sociology, economics and gender studies and looks at shifting current perceptions of gender and how we use these perceptions in framing economic policy. Very often, it is an intersection of gender, values and beliefs that create policy decisions, many of which are based on outdated models. It is important that we start to understand how economic research is conducted, how the statistical analysis is created and how this flows into policy decisions and ultimately the business bottom line.

“Gender Economics is about “dissecting and creating a new discourse around economic theory that fuses Economics, Gender and Sociology”[1]

Think of a persistent organisational challenge and start to unpick it by looking at the assumptions and environments that created the challenge in the first place, chances are the core of the challenge has been created by imposing outdated business models, values and measurements that no longer work.  Then reframe the challenge by applying new thought paradigms and you may very likely uncover innovations that lead to increases in performance.  Traditional gender stereotypes have shifted and organisations can no longer assume that they are catering to the working heterosexual white male with a wife at home because the ground rules have changed.  According to Wikipedia[2], the US LGBT consumer market in 2013 ‘is estimated to have an overall buying power of more than $835 billion’.  This demonstrates that marketing to this group requires specialisation to reap the benefits of that economy.

Much of our business culture is centuries old from the structures to the drivers, and our organisations must change to keep pace with a global economy where diversity, and cross-cultural management enforce new skills around managing complexity.

In 2009, the Harvard Business Review[3] made the bold statement that “Women now drive the world economy”, and estimated that globally women will control about $20 trillion in annual consumer spending over the next five years.  Look at any social networking site or news stream and you will see articles that recognise that the financial empowerment of women is a game changer.  Businesses must now attract talent from a wider pool, some from necessity, but many recognising that by developing a “Women’s Employer of Choice” reputation, it will ultimately help them increase their competitiveness in the market.  However, it is not as simple as painting women’s issues with a ‘pink’ brush,  organisations must understand the shifts that have taken place in gendered stereotypes and how this sociological change now affects business structures and changes in economic policy formation.

Gender Economics looks at how gender influences economic decisions and how those decisions impact gender.  The way we target gender for economic gain or increased market share can either benefit or degrade the rights of marginalised groups, often leading to policy formation with an underlying gender bias overlaid with a view on how economics, policy and gender interact with society.

This emerging field challenges current economic theory, broadening the conversation to encompasses sociological complexities currently at play in society – ie: we look to deconstruct economic policy, reconstructing it in a manner that allows us to develop rational and objective tracks for further research.  Issues of female inequality have persisted for decades if not centuries and instead of talking about the issues, Gender Economics explores underneath the issue and provides new discourses that have the power to change the way we work and live.  A simple example of Gender Economics and a persistent issue is the gender wage gap in Australia that continues regardless of the amount of effort and talk that goes on.  In 1907 Australia passed a little known policy known as the “Harvester Judgement[4] that saw the start of the pay gap for women in preference to that of the ‘working family man’.  This policy was introduced primarily to give organisations a competitive advantage using cheaper female labour.  This precedent continues today with feminised work segments in organisations exploiting cheaper labour, focusing on scarcity instead of the abundance of leveraging that diversity through innovation[5].

Much of our business culture is centred on the concept of scarcity, of not enough to go around but where did this thinking process start?  Staying competitive by having unique products that differentiate you from the rest of the marketplace can lead to a culture of aggressive competition and cost cutting.  With more organisations becoming lean and agile what if the model moved from one of scarcity to one of ‘abundance’.  What are the attributes of abundance, is it just a mind shift or can we create business models that promote it?  Numerous studies of company board makeup show that the accepted female attributes of sharing and collaboration lead to a richer business environment and higher profits.

Gender Economics is the new Business Transformation, the next major resource, and will open a channel to increased innovation and creativity through Diversity of thought and the ability to maximise the management of our increasingly complex environments.  Organisations that understand that gender balance is the new competitive edge will be better equipped in a global marketplace where women take their place at the decision table.  An increased awareness of women’s economic impact at a country level and greater gender diversity at a company level means women are learning to invest in themselves and their financial future.

There are many persistent gender issue’s that just don’t seem to go away and this is particularly true in areas of gender inequality, and I feel that this is because we so often talk ‘around’ the issues instead of deconstructing them and understanding why they are issues in the first place.  The next steps are to start unpicking current thinking on economics and business, start reframing our thinking, putting age-old issues into new contexts – that is Gender Economics at its core!


[1] Quote by Susanne Moore 2013

[4] MacIntyre, Stuart (1985) ‘A fair wage’ in Winners and Losers: The Pursuit of Social Justice in Australian History, Sydney: Allen & Unwin, Ch.3, pp. 51-58 (excerpt)

[5] Diversity Program Review Framework™, Susanne Moore (2012)

Diversity Economics Research – “The profit impact of organisational gender Diversity programs”

I am doing research on “The profit impact of organisational gender Diversity program’s” and currently have completed a research proposal and am looking to work with a number of organisations to participate in the study that would be interested in working with me on completing this work. My research has indicated that there are no proven causal links between Gender Diversity Programs and organisational profitability. As part of the study I will be developing a measurement framework that can then be used to measure both the effectiveness of these programs and any causal link to profitability – I refer to this as Diversity Economics.

Executive Summary:

This study will compare Gender Diversity Program frameworks for effectiveness, and identify and evaluate linkages to organizational profitability. It will focus on the effectiveness (or otherwise) of Gender Diversity Programs (GDPs) within organisations in an effort to explore their relationship with the recruitment and retention of women in senior leadership roles. The aims and objectives of this research are;

1. To establish a link between Gender Diversity Programs and profit;

2. To develop a repeatable framework for the measurement of this effectiveness;

3. To develop benchmarks that support the framework;

4. To prove a link to organisational profitability as a starting point to further study into the impact of gender on economies, i.e.: Gender Economics1.

This research proposal is the first part of a wider study to test the theory and viability of further research into Gender Economics and Diversity Economics by first establishing a link between Gender Diversity programs and organisational profitability. Gender Economics is an emerging field of study that builds on the theories of diversity and promotes the value of gender balance, particularly in the area of innovation and creativity. It recognises the ‘direct input’ of women to the economy and extends the theory that the discipline of economics ”could be improved by freeing itself from masculine biases” (Ferber, Nelson 1993: 24). Diversity Economics focuses on the organisational economics of diversity programs and follows the concepts of Economic Diversity, ”as a way to achieve economic stability” (Wagner 1993).

The second part of the study, will take the established link between Diversity Economics and profitability further to develop quantified economic models proving the case for Gender Economics using a cost benefit analysis. This proposal only deals with the first part of the study.

[1] Gender Economics is an emerging field of study, see www.gendereconomics.com with the first annual conference being held in Madrid Spain in 2008
Related articles

My Research Proposal – “The Effectiveness (or otherwise) of organisational Gender Diversity Programs on Profit”

My research proposal

As part of my Sociology degree I have commenced a year-long research project. The subject will be on “The effectiveness (or otherwise) of organisational gender diversity program’s on profit”  to see if we can come up with some metrics and measurements for quantifying the value of a gender diverse workforce on bottom line profitability.  Diversity programs are undertaken in many organizations in a bid to attract and keep senior women in leadership and although we know there are clear advantages, much of the information is empirical or intangible and difficult to measure under current business structures.

This is the first part of the study to test the theory and viability of further research into Gender Economics and Diversity Economics.

Title What is the effectiveness (or otherwise)of organisational Diversity Programs on profit?
Summary The subject will be on the effectiveness of gender diversity programs within organisations in a bid to attract and retain senior women in leadership roles.  The first part of the study is to test the theory and viability of further research into Gender Economics and Diversity Economics.  Gender Economics recognises the ‘direct input’ of women to the economy by enabling leadership roles through diversity rather than the ‘indirect’ impact of women as consumers and supporters.I will draw on existing research into the field of diversity management and test the theories using participants in focus group’s to draw on their experience and knowledge in the areas in both implementing diversity programs, and being a recipient of diversity programs.Ideally, I am looking for a mix of men and women of different ages to form a group of six to ten people for the initial focus group session.  Over the coming year I intend to work with at least two organisations, one government and one corporate, who currently have a diversity program in place.  I aim to research and evaluate these programs to see what metrics they have put in place to measure the success of their programs.  Then I would like to tie the outcomes to economic health as an argument for the economic advantages of Gender and Diversity Economics.
Background to the Research Having worked in both corporate and government organisations, I know firsthand the challenges of managing diversity.  I have also seen the issues that result from discrimination, bias, gender stereotyping and a lack of flexibility in organisations.
Related articles

Gender Diversity Research – “The effectiveness (or otherwise) of organisational gender diversity program’s on profit”

NEXT FOCUS GROUP SYDNEY MONDAY 20 AUGUST 6-8PM

As part of my Sociology degree I have commenced a year-long research project. The subject will be on “The effectiveness (or otherwise) of organisational gender diversity program’s on profit”  to see if we can come up with some metrics and measurements for quantifying the value of a gender diverse workforce on bottom line profitability.  Diversity programs are undertaken in many organizations in a bid to attract and keep senior women in leadership and although we know there are clear advantages, much of the information is empirical or intangible and difficult to measure under current business structures.

This is the first part of the study to test the theory and viability of further research into Gender Economics and Diversity Economics.

To book, please CONTACT ME

MORE INFORMATION ON MY RESEARCH

The effectiveness of Organisational Gender Diversity Programs

  • Description: Building frameworks and metrics for gender diversity programs to measure their impact on bottom line profitability. Expanding these metrics to measure the economic input of gender diversity programs.

The subject of my research project will be on the effectiveness of gender diversity programs within organisations in a bid to attract and keep senior women in leadership roles.  The first part of the study is to test the theory and viability of further research into Gender Economics and Diversity Economics.  Gender Economics recognises the ‘direct input’ of women to the economy by enabling leadership roles through diversity rather than the ‘indirect’ impact of women as consumers and supporters.

I will draw on existing research into the field of diversity management and test the theories using participants in focus group’s to draw on their experience and knowledge in the areas in both implementing diversity programs, and being a recipient of diversity programs.

Ideally, I am looking for a mix of men and women of different ages to form a group of six to ten people for the first focus group session.  Over the coming year I intend to work with at least two organisations, one government and one corporate, who currently have a diversity program in place.  I aim to research and evaluate these programs to see what metrics they have put in place to measure the success of their programs.  Then I would like to tie the outcomes to economic health as an argument for the economic advantages of Gender and Diversity Economics.