Insights into Ineffectiveness of Gender Equality and Diversity Initiatives in Project-Based Organizations. By: Baker, Marzena; French, Erica; Ali, Muhammad. Journal of Management in Engineering. May2021, Vol. 37 Issue 3, p1-17. 17p.

Project-based organizations (PBOs) in engineering, construction, property industries are persistently among the most male-dominated worldwide, and, as such, are not capitalizing on numerous performance gains derived from diversity. Large Australian PBOs (among others) are required to develop formal gender equality and diversity initiatives (GEDIs) to embrace equality and diversity. Despite comparatively higher numbers of GEDIs in PBOs, women’s representation remains lower than in non-PBOs. Using the lenses of organizational justice theory and inattention theory, this study explored leaders’ GEDI decisions related to the selection and implementation of GEDIs and their ineffectiveness. Quantitative data from 4,841 PBOs and non-PBOs were collected from 2018?2019 annual equality progress reports. In-depth quantitative and qualitative data from five PBOs were collected through interviews with senior leaders, organizational documents, and reports. Findings indicate that leaders select GEDIs based on their personal views of justice and individual bias. They focus on meeting legislative and industry requirements rather than on developing a strategic business approach, and appear trapped by their own indifference to the substantive issues of equality and diversity, reinforcing systemic inequalities. We discussed theoretical and research contributions and practical implications.