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Prof Anita Bosch
6 October 2022 @ 17:3018:30
Balancing just outcomes: Viewing work through the lens of women
Anchored in a foundation of intellectual activism, I present a lens on women at work and the value of the feminine acts of care and collaboration. I argue that we need to find a balance between the feminine and the masculine in an understanding of gender in the workplace. The lecture does not aim to seek closure and resolution or pragmatic solutions, but to open our minds to the dance between difference and similarity. I provide a number of theoretical lenses with which to understand the patterns of slow progress towards just outcomes for women at work. In the same way that societal gender dynamics are influenced by cultural norms and practices, so workplace gender norms are influenced by society, through powerful imagined rules according to which we make decisions and adjust our own behaviour. In the lecture, I explain some of the origins of the imagined rules, and conclude with the reasons why nuanced insights are to the advantage of both men and women and, ultimately, business and society at large. It is time to realise that work, family, society, and nature are all closely interlinked and highly interdependent.
Anita is a Professor at the Stellenbosch Business School, where she holds a research chair dedicated to the study of women at work. She believes that gender — a master identity of every person — provides a relatable gateway to grasping the complexities of workplace diversity, inclusion and, ultimately, belonging. She teaches in the Leadership and Organisational Behaviour tracks.
Anita is the author and editor of a number of public reports, including the Womensreport.africa, Women on South African boards: Facts, fiction and forward thinking; Gender pay gap guide for the already converted; and Winds of change: Trade as a catalyst for board gender diversity. Her publications also feature in academic books and journals, such as the special issue about Women in Business in Africa of the SA Journal of Business Management; the Journal of Managerial Psychology; the Journal of Personality Assessment; the International Journal of HRM; and the Journal of Business Ethics.
Anita regularly featured in the media. She has been invited twice to present her work to the South African parliament. She is a gender equality facilitator for the United Nations Global Compact, a non-executive director of the National Business Initiative, and a Research Fellow at Vlerick Business School, Belgium.
Prior to joining Stellenbosch, Anita was the lead convenor of the Women in the Workplace research programme at the University of Johannesburg, where she also taught and also held a number of leadership roles. Before her university career, Anita worked and held leadership positions in accountancy, human resource development, and pay systems in the private sector