Sex/gender-blind training maintains and creates inequity

Kroese, Ingeborg (2023). Sex/gender-blind training maintains and creates inequity. Gender, Work & Organization, 30(3) pp. 917–936.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/gwao.12947

Abstract

As training theory and practice may not sufficiently recognize the role and impact of sex and gender, this study aims to understand to what extent current corporate training practices fulfill expectations of gender equity and inclusion. This qualitative case study is based on three international training programs, in the Netherlands, the USA, and the UK, respectively, designed by a multinational corporation. The methods include an extensive training document analysis and semi-structured interviews with training participants, organizers, and trainers. The thematic and gender subtext analyses highlight how the discourse of sex/gender-blindness in training not only risks maintaining the status quo of under-representation of women but can also produce sex/gender inequity. The results indicate that training organizers and providers may not feel equipped to recognize and address the role of sex/gender. Future training research, theory, and practice should acknowledge and reflect on the impact of sex/gender, and sex/gender equity should be integrated into program design and delivery.

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