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Talent Management in a Gender-Diverse Workforce

Jeanette N. Cleveland, Jaclyn Menendez and Lauren Wallace


Women and men do not differ substantially in terms of their overall levels of performance or effectiveness at work (Landy, Shankster & Kohler, 1994; Wexley & Pulakos, 1982); if anything, women show slightly higher levels of job performance (Roth, Purvis & Bobko, 2012). Furthermore, women and men do not differ substantially in job-related abilities or in the individual determinants of job performance. For example, there are few differences in the general cognitive abilities of men and women (Halpern, Benbow, Geary, Gur, Hyde & Gernsbacher, 2007; Hyde, 2005; Hyde, Fennema & Lamon, 1990; Hyde & Linn, 1988). Similarly, there are few general differences in overall levels of work motivation, although women report motivation levels lower in environments that are characterized by strong sex role segregation or by stereotypically masculine traits (e.g., an emphasis on competitiveness; for reviews, see Eagly, Karau, Miner & Johnson, 1994; Gneezy, Niederle & Rustichini, 2003; Hyde & Kling, 2001; Kalkowski & Fritz, 2004). Despite their many similarities, though, the experiences of men and women with work and with the rewards associated with work differ in important ways. Further, women and men manage their work lives in a larger societal context, which can influence what occurs within organizations.

The goal of this chapter is to provide a targeted review of the literature on gender and human resource management practices that influence women’s and men’s experiences at work. This chapter examines the role of the processes that organizations use to attract, select and retain job candidates in understanding the experiences of women and men in the workplace. We begin with a brief review of the historical assumptions underlying women entering the workplace in large numbers during the last 60 years. In the sections that follow, we review key research findings for the respective areas of recruitment, selection and retention. Finally, we discuss at least four factors that shape the expectations, assumptions and even our criteria of success within the larger workplace environment:

The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of the Psychology of Recruitment, Selection and Employee Retention,

First Edition. Edited by Harold W. Goldstein, Elaine D. Pulakos, Jonathan Passmore and Carla Semedo. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Published 2017 by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

1) occupational sex segregation of jobs; 2) persistent limiting beliefs held by both women and men; 3) the uneven playing field for women outside the workplace; and 4) the narrow criteria for success and the dysfunctional behaviour associated with it.

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