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Past CGO Speaker Series

The Center for Gender in Organizations hosts many speakers and seminars. Check back soon for summaries of some of the past CGO Distinguished Scholar Speaker Series and other events.


2016: Distinguished Scholar Speaker Series

March: "Disappearing Acts: Gender, Power, and Relational Practice at Work revisited"  Joyce K. Fletcher

It has been over 15 years since the publication of Disappearing Acts: Gender, Power and Relational Practice at Work (MIT Press, 1999). This book, which was foundational to CGOs unique perspective on gendered dynamics in the workplace, explored how women’s important contributions often “get disappeared” rendering them and their contributions invisible.

The notion of ‘invisible work’ resonated with many and the specific disappearing acts detailed in the book gave us a way of understanding the subtle gender dynamics many of us were experiencing but were not able to articulate. This session revisited these disappearing dynamics: What has changed? Do these dynamics still resonate in today’s workplace? Do younger women experience them? Do they offer anything to help us understand the generational divide we are hearing so much about today? After a brief overview of the original research, Fletcher lead us in a discussion to explore these questions and identify practical implications.


2015: Distinguished Scholar Speaker Series 

December: "Work/Life Matters: Reflections on the Field"  Panelists: Lotte Bailyn, Spela Trefalt, Erin M. Reid, Joyce K. Fletcher, & Shifra Bronznick

Over the past 30 years, the field of what is commonly called work/life has generated much discussion, some change and not a little controversy.  Today, in 2015, in the midst of admonitions to “lean in” to extreme jobs, to structure off and on ramps, or to recognize the impossibility of having it all, the issue of how to integrate the public and private spheres of life continues to be fraught for both women and men. Where have we been? Where are we today? What is missing? Where do we need to go? Our panelists discussed these questions from their unique research perspectives.

November: "Women on Boards: Success Story from the Field"  Professor Sue Vinnicombe

In 2010, the UK established a commission led by Lord Davies to address the issue. Professor Sue Vinnicombe, Director of Cranfield University’s International Centre for Women Leaders, was a member of the commission and was instrumental in developing a list of 10 recommendations published in the commission report in 2011. In just a few years, the percentage of women on FTSE 100 boards more than doubled to 26.4%. Professor Vinnicombe spoke to attendees about the remarkable success of this initiative, how and why it happened and what she sees as the implications for other countries such as the United States and Canada.

September: "When is Female Leadership an Advantage?"  Corinne Post

A "female advantage" to leadership was proposed over 30 years ago and has been discussed and debated vigorously ever since. In this presentation, Professor Post contributed significantly to this debate by sharing findings from a research study recently published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior that explored to what extent and in what contexts female leadership may be advantageous for teams.

April: "Out of the Box? How Managing a Subordinate's Multiple Identities Affects the Quality of a Manager-Subordinate Relationship"  Stephanie J. Creary, Brianna Barker Caza, & Laura Morgan Roberts

Speaker Stephanie J. Creary conveyed how invaluable positive manager-subordinate relationships are to organizations; they enable positive employee attitudes, citizenship behaviors, task performance, and more effective organizations. This session was of particular interest to practitioners and academics who were interested in examining the relationship between individual-level identities and the quality of relationships at work.

February: "Negotiating at Work: Turn Small Wins Into Big Gains"  Deborah M. Kolb & Jessica L. Porter

In a book talk by authors, Deborah M. Kolb and Jessica L. Porter, the topic of negotiation was discussed in full. Negotiation has always been at the heart of solving problems at work. Yet today, when people in organizations are asked to do more with less, be responsive 24/7, and manage in rapidly changing environments, negotiation is more essential than ever. Kolb and Porter were able to share their insights with the audience of the event.

January: "Relationship Bureaucracy: Restructuring reciprocal relationships into roles"  Jody Hoffer Gittell & Anne Douglass

In a discussion surrounding their recent article, "Relational bureaucracy: Restructuring reciprocal relationships into roles," Gittel and Douglass set forth tenets of an institutional form to facilitate what they call ‘relational coordination,’ a way of working that enhances effectiveness and leads to high quality outcomes. In this session, they reviewed these tenets and explored why, despite compelling data about its effectiveness—especially in health care, education, and other types of work requiring collaboration and interdependence—relational coordination is challenging to sustain.