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Abstract

Organisational leadership plays a key role in shaping the workspace. The collectively held beliefs, assumptions, and values which constitute the culture of an organisation are mostly influenced by its leadership. Monogamous patriarchal family structures—evolved based on male ownership and women’s subjugation—have led to the deep-seated idea of male supremacy. Organisations, including value-based non-profits, show the same pattern. Within organisations, patriarchal leadership exhibits sexism in order to maintain the status quo. The deep culture of gender inequality in organisations is apparently maintained as a means of maintaining male supremacy. This article demonstrates how, in two consecutive gender audits, Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN), a non-profit organisation scored much lower in ‘willingness of leadership to make the organisation a better place for women to work’ in spite of the fact that PRADAN is among a small number that invested resources, financial and human, to bring about gender equality in the organisation. As members of the leadership group of PRADAN, the authors assert the need for a powerful Guiding Coalition, outside the normal hierarchy, to lead initiatives and to work with the leadership group, as a way forward to make the organisation a better place for women to work.

Note on the Author

The authors have obtained permission from the Executive Director of PRADAN to publish this article.

Dibyendu Chaudhuri currently works in the Research & Advocacy unit of Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN), a non-profit organisation in India. . He specialises in Human Resource Development, Monitoring-Evaluation-Learning, Integrated Natural Resource Management and Micro-finance.

Parijat Ghosh works in the Research and Advocacy unit in the Indian Non-Profit organisation, Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN). She specialises in Human Resource Development, organisation development, sustainable intensification and gender issues.

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