Managing equal opportunities for women: sorting the friends from the foes

Authors


Catherine W. Ng, Department of Management, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Email: mswhng@polyu.edu.hk

Abstract

Employees working in Hong Kong were surveyed on their attitudes towards managing equal opportunities for women. Results indicate that gender is a better predictor of attitudes than work identity. Manager/employee work identity has an add-on moderating effect on some women-friendly policies but not on others. Out of seven women-friendly dimensions, women as managers are less receptive of only two: 'training and development' and 'positive equal opportunities'; men as managers, in contrast, are less resistant to 'training and development' and 'flexitime'. The findings suggest that there are three levels of gatekeeping: one, male employees; two, male managers; and three, female managers. We suggest that to help women employees break the glass ceiling, different organisational and societal change programmes are needed to target the different groups of gatekeepers.

Ancillary