Women in Workplace: Positions of Leadership

Wed, 18 Nov 2020 17:00 in Discussion Forums

Venue: Online
Date: Wednesday, 18th November 2020
Time: 17:00-18:30


  • Sue Liburd MBE DL, NHS Lincolnshire Commissioning Group
  • Prof Karen Ann Mumford CBE, University of York
  • Rachel Elnaugh, British Entrepreneur
  • Maya Mehan, President, Cambridge University Women in Business
  • Iysha Arun, Research Fellow, Dialogue Society


Higher education is an important step for women’s access to high status and well-paid occupations. Women’s lack of access to higher education all around the world puts them in a disadvantaged position for these occupations. This phenomenon is also present in the workplace and society at large, leading to the underrepresentation of women in more senior status jobs or them being underpaid compared to men. Women are denied jobs and opportunities because of their “likelihood” of dropping out of work due to having and raising kids. This phenomenon of a motherhood penalty extends to hiring, wage, and promotion penalties, making it even harder for a woman to be in a higher position as they are unlikely to get promoted.

According to Women in the Workplace 2018 report, once a woman ascends to a leadership role, it is extremely challenging for them to maintain their position. Women in leadership roles have to deal with more and different types of stress than men do and face a very different cultural environment in the workplace.

This panel will discuss the challenges of women’s leadership in the workplace. The complexity of discriminatory practices and the interlinks between sexism, gender pay gap, occupational dissimilarity, and motherhood penalty will be covered.