MIT Sloan Management Review Article on Mapping Exclusion in the Organization

  • 8m
  • Andrew Parker, Inga Carboni, Nan S. Langowitz
  • MIT Sloan Management Review
  • 2021

Annual workforce demographic reports show that despite prominent high-tech companies’ pledges to increase gender diversity, the pattern of underrepresentation of women persists. Compared with workers in other industries, executives and professionals in the tech sector are disproportionately male. Women account for only 30% of the workforce in the top 75 technology companies in Silicon Valley, even though women achieve near parity at nontechnology businesses in the region. As a female technical consultant said in a 2018 Pew Research report on women in STEM: “People automatically assume I am the secretary, or in a less technical role, because I am female. This makes it difficult for me to build a technical network to get my work done. People will call on my male co-workers, but not call on me.”

One of the biggest barriers to women’s success is their exclusion from informal professional networks. To identify the challenges and solutions involved in developing gender-inclusive networks, we studied the organizational networks of dozens of companies, surveyed thousands of employees, and interviewed senior executives responsible for implementing their organization’s gender-related diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts.

About the Author

Inga Carboni is an associate professor of organizational behavior at the College of William & Mary.

Andrew Parker is a professor of leadership at Durham University.

Nan S. Langowitz (@nanlangowitz) is a professor of management at Babson College.

Learn more about MIT SMR.

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  • MIT Sloan Management Review Article on Mapping Exclusion in the Organization