Dienstag, 19. April 2016

Male feminists? Analysing the construction of men in gender equality efforts

WZB Lecture by Elisabeth Kelan, Cranfield University, UK

While much research has explored how to change organisations toward more gender equality, the role of men in those processes is less well understood. Men are often seen as hindering progress on gender equality (Cockburn, 1991; McKinsey, 2012; Prime & Moss-Racusin, 2009). However the United Nations #HeforShe campaign has led to much discussion about men’s involvement in gender equality processes in general and feminism in specific. Men can be understood as change agents for gender equality (Vries, 2015). If gender equality is seen as an issue for men, this raises the question how men are conceptualised in gender equality processes in an organisational setting. Drawing on job shadowing and interviews, this presentation will explore the construction of men in gender equality processes in three organisations. The presentation will analyse the rationales that research participants put forward to explain why men should engage in gender change. The presentation will also discuss some challenges that were encountered when including men in gender equality processes. Thereby the presentation will make a contribution toward understanding how men as potential feminists are conceptualised in organisations.


Prof. Elisabeth Kelan, PhD, is a Chaired Professor of Leadership at Cranfield School of Management and the Director of the Cranfield International Centre for Women Leaders. Her research focuses on women and leadership, generations in organizations, leadership and diversity and inclusion. She has published two books (Rising Stars - Developing Millennial Women as Leaders and Performing Gender, both with Palgrave) and numerous peer-reviewed articles in academic journals and practitioner reports. She is the series editor for the Routledge Studies in Gender and Organizations book series, an associate editor of the journal Gender, Work and Organization and she is on the editorial board of the British Journal of Management. The Times featured her as one of the management thinkers to watch and her research is regularly reported in the media. She sits on the advisory boards of the Women’s Empowerment Principles, a partnership initiative of UN Women and the UN Global Compact, as well as the National Society of High School Scholars Foundation. For the academic year 2014/2015 she held a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship. She has provided thought-leadership to businesses and international organizations. Elisabeth Kelan worked at King's College London, London Business School, the London School of Economics and Political Science and Zurich University. She holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science.