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December 09, 2011

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Comments

Kevin,
you raise an interesting issue and one that I believe merits ongoing thoughtful attention.
As much as I wish the world were so, I think the idea of being 'gender neutral' is still problematic, as work, lived experiences, and practices in organisations are never gender neutral. If we move away from that troublesome phrase and move towards one that has increasing currency: 'gender mainstreaming', then we start to see possibilities for avoiding erasing the difficulties that women still experience, while focusing on how organisations and L&D practices as well as policies, can highlight issues, problems, and challenges that can emerge in the workplace for women, and give measured and supportive responses that provide effective outcomes.
The glass ceiling is still there, and indeed evidence shows that for many 'women of difference' (colour, sexual orientation, disability, working class, for example) the ceiling is not glass, it's concrete - even more unweilding. There is a long way to go before issues of gender bias, and horizontal and vertical inequity become irrelevent for women. Let's keep talking about them! Let's keep trying out different ways of helping women achieve equity and parity!
That's how we can work towards development practices that address this continuing problem.
Best wishes
Irene

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