This article examines four actions that can be taken by managers to assist women as they seek advancement in the workplace.

Getting Started

Appropriate Subject Area(s):

Careers, business studies

Key Questions to Explore:

  • Why do women need special focus?
  • What strategies can be employed to assist them in their desire for advancement?

New Terminology:

Gender diversity

Materials Needed:

Copies of the article for the students

Study and Discussion Activity

Introduction to lesson and task:

Gender equity has been receiving increased attention. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in responding to a reporter’s question about gender balance in his cabinet, gave the now famous answer “because it’s 2015”. The comment drew attention and praise from around the world and heightened the attention on women’s issues. Hillary Clinton’s presidential run made frequent references to breaking the “glass ceiling.” Despite all of this growing attention women’s progress up the corporate ladder continues to be slow. This lesson will have the students discuss the issue and examine actions that can be taken to assist in the achievement of gender equity in the workplace.

Action (lesson plan and task):

  • Begin the lesson by asking the students if they recall Justin Trudeau’s famous response “because it’s 2015” and to what it referred. (If they cannot recall the comment provide them with the background)
  • Once there has been a brief discussion of the significance of the response ask the students to explain the term “gender equity”.
  • With a clear understanding of the term established, divide the class into groups of all males and all females.
  • Once established give the groups the following task:

What actions, if any, do you think need to be taken in the workplace to assist women in their attempts to climb the corporate ladder?  Be prepared to justify your response.

  • Allow the groups time to discuss and prepare their answers.

Consolidation of Learning:

Have each group report their ideas and respond to questions or comments from the class.

Success and Additional Learning

Success Criteria:

The students will:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the issue of gender equity
  • Offer ideas concerning methods by which this issue can be addressed.

Confirming Activity:

  • Once all groups have reported and their answers have been discussed, provide the students with a copy of the article and allow them time to read it.
  • Hold a plenary session to get their responses to the article and how, if at all, they would now adjust their ideas.