Kossek, E. E & Lee, K. H. 2020. Why work-life inclusion matters for women’s career equality and what to do about it. Organizational Dynamics. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.orgdyn.2020.100818

In this article, we share evidence-based insights from work-life and diversity thought leaders who convened at a 2019 workshop held at Purdue University sponsored by the. U.S. National Science Foundation entitled Fostering Gender and Work-Life Inclusion for Faculty in Understudied Contexts: An Organizational Science Lens. on the role of work-life challenges in gender equality in employing organizations. The NSF workshop and a subsequent 2019 National Academy of Management Professional Development Workshop entitled Fostering Work-Life Inclusive Business Schools: Improving Organizational Science & Women’s Equality that was organized by the authors examined career issues facing women faculty and scientists in business schools and other professional contexts where women are largely under-represented such as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).2 These challenges are not limited to universities, but are highly relevant to business leaders. From Fortune 500 companies to start-up firms, women are similarly under-represented in leadership roles, and face comparable barriers. Business leaders are also consumers of business education and hire talent pipelines from business schools and universities. Further, half of all students in universities are now women, and higher education has long been a lever for equal opportunity societal change. Thus, it is important that educational contexts exemplify positive work-life and gender-inclusive environments. We, as did the experts we convened, believe that the impact of work-nonwork dynamics on gender career equality is under-developed as a continuing barrier to women’s advancement in diversity and inclusion (D & I) strategies. We share examples, from the workshop and conference presentations and discussions that illustrate how gender and work-life issues intersect in the workplace. Next, we define “work-life inclusion” and review four challenges that the experts identified as key themes. Finally, we conclude with seven actions leaders can take to create a more work-life inclusive culture.