The purpose of this paper is to examine female leaders' attitudes toward demand-side strategies to close the gender-leadership gap and discuss implications for organizations.Design/methodology/approachThis article describes the process of knowledge co-creation that took place using an engaged scholarship epistemology over 23 interviews with North American women in senior leadership roles.FindingsFive key themes related to women leaders' attitudes toward demand-side strategies are discussed. Some felt uncertain or opposed toward these strategies, whereas others supported them. Support for these strategies was dependent on perceptions of backlash regarding the implementation of these strategies and the participants' career stage. Finally, participants acknowledged that demand-side strategies are insufficient in isolation and require additional organizational supports.Research limitations/implicationsThese findings enhance our understanding and provide theoretical refinement of the mechanisms that drive female leaders' reactions to demand-side strategies to close the gender-leadership gap.Practical implicationsParticipants advocated for certain practices to be considered when organizations contemplate the adoption of demand-side strategies. Importantly, participants advocated that the implementation of demand-side strategies would be insufficient unless organizations encourage greater dialogue regarding the gender-leadership gap, that top management support more gender inclusive leadership, and that male colleagues act as allies for women in leadership.Originality/valueThis article extends past research and theory by integrating the pragmatic perspectives of successful female leaders with previous empirical evidence to illustrate different reactions to demand-side strategies and ways for organizations to manage those in their efforts to close the gender-leadership gap.
Journal of Managerial Psychology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 30, 2021
Keywords: Gender; Leadership; Demand-side strategies; Targets; Quotas; Engaged epistemology; Interviews
Read and print from thousands of top scholarly journals.
Already have an account? Log in
Bookmark this article. You can see your Bookmarks on your DeepDyve Library.