Solving for X in the Y Domain

Strategies for Overcoming Gender Barriers to Leadership

by Gae Walters PhD



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 11/30/2017

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 228
ISBN : 9781480852709
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 228
ISBN : 9781480852693
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 228
ISBN : 9781480852716

About the Book

Increasingly, albeit in small numbers, women are overcoming the forces that have prevented qualified women from entering the executive suites of organizations. However, very little is known about the strategies for overcoming gendered obstacles and reaching senior executive roles, particularly in male-dominated fields.

In Solving for X in the Y Domain, sixteen women who are leaders in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) describe their experiences with overcoming gender-based barriers to reaching senior-level leadership positions, and they share these strategies and skills with other aspiring women. This study adds a new dimension to the body of knowledge by describing women’s strategies, behaviors, and skills for overcoming gender bias and backlash, with the differentiating aspect of this study being a focus on women who have empowered themselves to seek and to find strategies and behaviors that enabled them to surmount the specific obstacles they encountered. Their detailed accounts incorporate extensive layers of situational facts as well as their feelings, impressions, perceptions, thoughts, and reactions. Women leaders’ experiences in the use of buffering behaviors—self-management, impression management, political skill, and performance—provide a template of behaviors to successfully mitigate the effects of gender-based barriers.

These inspiring professional women did not give up, they did not quit, and they were tenacious in the face of disheartening and demoralizing situations. On occasion they become discouraged, angry, incensed, and frustrated. However, they continued to direct their energies and their intellects toward solving for X in the Y domain.

About the Author

Gae Walters, PhD, is an organizational psychologist and executive coach with expertise in leadership development, team effectiveness, and the behavioral sciences. She works extensively with women who hold senior leadership positions in the STEM professions, with discussions often centering on developing strategies and responses to issues of institutionalized gender bias and backlash. Dr. Walters served as the vice president of organizational development for a major worldwide hotel chain, and she is a mentor and adviser for the Society for Women in Engineering and the Women’s Innovation Network. She is also the sole female member of the board of directors of a global engineering and construction firm, where she advocates for women’s roles in senior leadership positions.