Not Just a Women’s Issue: Sustainable Leadership ​in Male Dominated Fields

Sustainable Leadership ​in Male Dominated Fields


Partners: IBF, United Nations University- Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability UNU-IAS, Universidad Catolica del Norte,  The University of Queensland

Impact: Equal opportunity to engage in leadership roles and participation is not just the responsibility of women. The limiting factors for engagement are underpinned by a broader set of androcentric socio-cultural, governmental and organizational norms within male dominated industries, such as extractives. Thus, the responsibility lies in a collaborative effort by the private sector, government, higher education institutions and civil society organizations to promote equal opportunities towards sustainable leadership of women in the extractives industry. However, recent trends indicate an increase in participation of women in leadership roles in male dominated fields. However, these opportunities remain highly conditional and limited by systemic conceptions of gender roles (Ibáñez, 2010; National Council of Innovation and Competitiveness, 2014, Council of Mining Competencies, 2015; Navarro, Roman and Infante, 2016). The significance of this issue results from the challenges imposed on the ability for women to gain leadership opportunities from training in higher education through to their career transition. Issues such as: lack of recognition, limited skill development for career growth, educational barriers, work and life balance, reconciliation of maternal responsibilities and career development, are all underpinned by a predominantly androcentric policy and government framework. Thus, this study presents a framework that promotes the interests and growth of women into leadership roles and in male dominated industries.