How "doing gender" leads to gender imbalances in the higher ranks in colleges of business [and how to "undo gender"]

Len J. Treviño, David B. Balkin, Luis Gomez-Mejia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Faculty gatekeepers who control promotions to senior academic positions in business schools are tenured associate and full professors, and their numbers are overwhelmingly male. This gender disparity in the higher ranks of academe can lead to masculinized organizational practices that frame tenure-and-promotion cases in business schools, leading to biased decision making that can undervalue female faculty members' scholarly contributions that do not conform to the taken-for-granted patterns established by successful males. We examine the evidence to determine the extent of the gender balance problem in senior positions in colleges of business in the US. In addition, we provide several conceptual frameworks; namely, homophily and hegemonic masculinities, and expectations state theory, social role theory, and shifting standards theory, which provide theoretical insights into how gender bias can unintentionally enter the promotion process in business schools. We provide a framework that business schools can implement to make decision making on promotion and advancement more equitable and engender a more welcoming environment for female faculty, ultimately caulking the "leaky pipeline" and allowing more female faculty to advance to the highest ranks of academe. Last, we offer new directions for research on attaining better gender balance in colleges of business.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-453
Number of pages15
JournalAcademy of Management Learning and Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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