Glass Walls : Shattering the Six Gender Bias Barriers Still Holding Women Back at Work - Amy B. Diehl
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Glass Walls

Shattering the Six Gender Bias Barriers Still Holding Women Back at Work

By: Amy B. Diehl, Leanne M. Dzubinski

Hardcover | 15 June 2023

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Looks at six main bias barriers women face at work and how leaders, allies, and women can overcome them.

Gender bias is a powerful but hidden force that holds women back, keeping them from achieving

their full potential and limiting organizations from achieving the creativity, problem solving, and growth

that are possible with a gender diverse workforce.

But you can't fix what you can't see-and you can't solve a complex problem unless you truly

understand and properly define its component parts.

In this revealing new book, Amy Diehl, Ph.D. and Leanne Dzubinski, Ph.D. shine a new light on the

barriers that form the structure of gender bias in the workplace. Through their original research, they

have discovered six core factors, and even more subfactors (some of which they have given name to for

the first time in the gender bias literature). They describe each of the six overarching barriers women

face; illustrate each with real-world examples and stories shared by women in their study; and explain

the consequences of that specific barrier.

To better understand all that causes gender bias, Drs. Diehl and Dzubinski created a survey instrument,

the Gender Bias Scale for Women Leaders, comprised of scale questions derived from the authors'

previous research. Using factor analysis, they discovered underlying themes behind workplace barriers,

revealing the six primary barriers. Next, they conducted qualitative content analysis of women's stories

from public sources to confirm their six-barrier model and identify the many subcomponents of each.

Their findings and analysis present a new, important, and richly detailed blueprint of gender bias. Based

on their research findings, Drs. Diehl and Dzubinski document, describe, and explain:

* How male privilege results in a workplace built by men and for men

* How women encounter disproportionate constraints in that workplace, expected to play supportive

roles to men.

* The surprising ways in which women have experienced insufficient support, based solely on

gender.

* The concept of devaluation, and its consequences for both the target and the organization.

* How women face overt hostility at work merely by virtue of their gender.

* How the above barriers lead to acquiescence, which occurs when women internalize the obstacles

and adapt to the limitations.

Industry Reviews

Focused on shifting workplace gender bias, Diehl and Dzubinski base organizational behavior on "equalist" concepts replacing the allegedly controversial "feminist." To support the work that creating gender-equitable environments demands, chapters are based on six clear types of gender bias and contain examples of that bias to illuminate the obstacles for even sheltered or reluctant leaders. An instance in the chapter on male privilege illuminates the two-person career structure most clearly witnessed in the expectations tied to first-lady- and clergy-spouse roles. The authors contribute to reader understanding, expanding the use of their work to make it actionable as they conclude each chapter with a segment outlining strategies to guide three types of team members—leaders, allies, self—in creating a sustainably equitable workplace. For example, in the "Devaluation" chapter, the assignment of office "housework" encourages the employee (self) to prepare and then speak up, providing alternatives to the situation. The practicality and clarity make this a valuable contribution to collections in academic and public libraries.
— Booklist, Starred Review



For all the women who've felt alone, held back, left out or unappreciated at work, (yes, please,) for all the men who've cavalierly taken credit or failed to see the value of their female colleagues, and for all the leaders who've helped create the biased systems that so blindly diminish women and their contributions, this book is for you. Amy Diehl and Leanne Dzubinski have written a meticulously researched, compelling, infuriating yet ultimately hopeful roadmap that shines a spotlight on both the barriers to overcome and the practical strategies that will lead to a better, more equitable future of work - for everyone
— Brigid Schulte, award-winning journalist, author of the New York Times bestselling "Overwhelmed: Work, Love & Play when No One has the Time," and director of The Better Life Lab at New America



Glass Walls reveals hidden gender biases that have plagued the traditional workplace. Drs. Diehl and Dzubinski's evidence-based approach to understanding how these biases operate ensure that leaders and organizations have a roadmap to finally shatter gender biases stifling women's careers and organizational potential. A must read for allies and leaders looking to quickly create real sustainable change!
— David G. Smith, PhD, Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, and coauthor of Good Guys and Athena Rising



Glass Walls couldn't have come at a better time. Drs Diehl and Dzubinski provide a much-needed framework to understand the playing field for women in today's working world - and the subtle mechanisms that continue to keep women out of positions of influence. More than just theory, however, it's a practical guide for the women, allies, and inclusive leaders crying out for strategies to overcome and ultimately, dismantle these invisible barriers.
— Fiona Macaulay, Founder-CEO, WILD Network and Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University McDonough School of Business

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