Essays on Increasing the Proportion of Women in the Senior Positions Coursework

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The paper "Increasing the Proportion of Women in the Senior Positions" is an outstanding example of business coursework.   Globally, the proportion of women in senior positions remains low despite the long years of equal opportunity. After years of striving for equality and diversity, women still are few in the executive levels in organisations (McFarlane, 2006). Gender diversity and policy supporting the concept of increasing the number of women in the management levels is essential not only to women but also to the organisation. It assists in increasing the availability of a skilled workforce, enhance productivity and result in stronger employee engagement.

Women make up approximately 47 per cent of the total labour force, but they are under-represented especially in the management level (McFarlane, 2006). Companies understand that with efficient management of gender diversity, reduced absenteeism and workers turnover are achieved. In addition, the absence of women in the senior position can often discourage other women as they act as role models. Organisations that support female employees in senior positions will gain a competitive advantage with regard to retaining their employees (Jeffrey, 2010).

Therefore, organisations should come up with policies that support women in senior positions. For instance, the Canadian Pacific Railway Company is faced with various challenges in attracting diverse employees. Canadian Pacific Railway is an organisation that operates a fright and transcontinental railway and offer logistics and supply chain expertise (European Commission, 2005). It is a safety-sensitive business and is considered a male operating environment and therefore in many years it has not attracted women. Therefore, the company should focus on recruiting and retaining women through gender diversity and equity policies. Policies supporting gender diversity in the management position are very important since the equal representation of men and women in senior-level allow quality outcomes by ensuring the perspectives and issues involving men and women are represented equally in decision making (Sinclair, 2007).

This paper will analyse the issue of an increasing proportion of women in management positions. It will also highlight ways of carrying out the effective implementation of the policy. Evidence shows that companies that have an inclusive work environment that supports female employees in management positions are more innovative and profitable (Sinclair, 2007).

For instance, a 2004 Catalyst study established that organisations with a large number of women in the senior positions had 35 per cent higher returns on equity compared to those with few women (Kathryn, 2010). There are a number of factors that contribute to a lower proportion of women in senior positions. To start with, educational choices may be a factor. It has been seen that men are more likely to take up technical disciplines such as mathematics, engineering, computer science etc. than women. In addition, men often start their careers and work in operational roles that tend to propel them fast into senior positions.

Therefore, in order to increase the number of women in management positions, it is important for women to be encouraged at an early stage to take up technical discipline (Sinclair, 2007). Another reason for the lower number of women in the management position is a personal choice. Women often face pressure to balance job and family life (Sinclair, 2007). For this, they may not go after jobs that require them to travel or risk that are associated with management positions.


Carlson, D. S., Kacmar, K. M. & Whitten, D 2006, 'What Men Think They Know About Executive Women', Harvard Business Review.Vol. 84 Issue 9, September: 28.

Chesterman, C., Ross-Smith, A. & Peters, M. (2005) 'The Gendered Impact on Organisations of a Critical Mass of Women in Senior Management.' Policy and Society, vol. 24, no. 4, p. 69-91.

European Commission 2005, The Business Case for Diversity: Good Practices in the Workplace, Brussels, European Commission.

May, Kathryn April, 2010, “Female Executives in Public Service on the Rise.” Ottawa Citizen.

McFarlane, J 2006, Sustaining growth and a strategic focus on people and diversity, Speech to the AICD EOWA Census Launch, Sydney: 31 August.

Pew Research Center August 25, 2008, “Men or Women: Who’s the Better Leader”?.

Pfeffer, Jeffrey 2010, “Women and the Uneasy Embrace of Power,” Harvard Business Review (August4).

Sinclair, A 2007, Leadership for the Disillusioned: Moving beyond myths and heroes to leading that liberates, Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.

Thomas, P. & Graham, J 2005, A Woman's Place Is In The Boardroom, New York, Palgrave MacMillan.

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