Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to share a Call for Papers for a Special Issue on "Managing Gender Equity and Equality across Borders" in Human Resource Management Journal. Please find more details below and attached. We are looking forward to receiving your submissions.

Best regards,

Katharina, Lena, Mila and Eddy




Managing Gender Equity and Equality across Borders:
Research, Practice, and Evidence-based Recommendations

Guest Editors: 

Katharina Bader (Northumbria University, UK)
Lena Knappert (VU Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Mila Lazarova (
Simon Fraser University, Canada)
Eddy Ng (
Bucknell University, USA)

Gender equity and equality (i.e., giving the same opportunities to men and women and supporting them according to their specific needs) are among the grand global challenges as women comprise 50% of the world‘s population and its human capital (United Nations, 2019). From an economic perspective, if managed effectively, increased gender equity and equality can enhance team and organizational performance (Hoogendoorn, Oosterbeek, & Van Praag, 2013; Roh & Kim, 2016). From a moral imperative, gender equity and equality contribute to women’s opportunity to succeed in business and society (Seierstad, 2016). Yet, although gender is among the most frequently addressed diversity dimensions, the progress towards gender equity and equality in business and society has been described as “stubborn” (Gavett & Perry, 2019) and “stalled” (Sandberg & Thomas, 2018). 

To foster change, many organizations implement gender diversity management (GDM), defined as human resource practices aimed at improving gender equity and equality at work (Martins & Parsons, 2007). GDM covers a comprehensive spectrum of initiatives including targeted gender recruitment, gender blind selection, anti-discrimination/equal employment opportunity programs, mentoring, professional development, and work-family friendly policies among others (Ali, Metz, & Kulik, 2015; Beck, 2005; Kalev, Dobbin, & Kelly, 2006; Olsen, Parsons, Martins, & Ivanaj, 2016). To be effective, research indicates that GDM needs to be context-sensitive as each country exhibits a unique socio-political context regarding the role of women in organizations and society that affects the acceptance, implementation, and outcomes of GDM (Hennekam, Tahssain-Gay, & Syed, 2017; Klarsfeld, 2010; Özbilgin, Syed, Ali, & Torunoglu, 2012). The need for such contextual understanding is particularly salient in multinational corporations (MNCs) as their operations span across different contexts and they may face severe barriers and resistance when implementing global approaches to GDM (Alhejji, Ng, Garavan, & Carbery, 2018; Festing, Knappert, & Kornau, 2015; Kemper, Bader, & Froese, 2018).  

Research on GDM in MNCs is, however, sparse (Cooke, Wood, Wang, & Veen, 2019) and research on GDM in single country and comparative studies has provided only few insights on the influence of context, as most studies have been conducted in the West (e.g., Ng & Sears, 2017; Olsen et al., 2016), with a strong focus on Europe and the US where GDM first originated (e.g., Kalev et al., 2006; Martins & Parsons, 2007; Virick & Greer, 2012). From there, GDM has spread across different countries, but often without challenging the cultural assumptions underlying it. For example, studies indicate that Asian organizations mostly follow what seems to be global best practice with only very little adaptation to local context (Donnelly, 2015; Ng & Chiu, 2001). Similarly, comparative research indicates that there is a shared understanding of GDM practices, only their focus across countries is slightly different (Kemper, Bader, & Froese, 2017; Olsen et al., 2016). While such findings are informative, we need more systematic work to deepen our understanding of the role of contextual differences and develop theory-informed and evidence-based recommendations on how the effectiveness of GDM across different country contexts can be improved.  

Given the emerging state of the field, this special issue invites papers that generate theoretical insights, empirical findings, and evidence-based recommendations on how organizations can effectively tackle the challenges arising from managing gender equity and equality in and across different country contexts. Single country studies will not be a priority for this special issue. Although women are still the primary target of GDM and thus the main focus of our special issue, GDM has been expanded to include different gender expressions and gender identities emanating from a greater recognition of non-binary or trans-gender identities and their intersections (American Psychological Association, 2015). Taking account of these developments and welcoming this broadening of scope, we also invite manuscripts within this expanded understanding of GDM, including studies that focus on the allied concepts of gender diversity and inclusion in context.  

The following are illustrative themes and research questions that we aim to address in this special issue. Authors are encouraged to submit papers with wider perspectives (and different methodologies) as long as the papers meet the aim of this special issue. 

1) Studies on GDM in MNCs

2) Comparative studies on GDM

3) Studies enhancing theory of GDM across borders

Full papers should be submitted between 1 – 30 May 2021 at, indicating “Managing Gender Equity and Equality across Borders” as the Special Issue. HRMJ will not be able to consider late submissions. The Special Issue will likely be published in 2022.

Enquiries related to the call for papers should be directed to Katharina Bader ([log in to unmask]), Lena Knappert ([log in to unmask]), Mila Lazarova ([log in to unmask]), and Eddy Ng ([log in to unmask]).

Enquiries related to the online submission process should be directed to: [log in to unmask].


Alhejji, H., Ng, E. S., Garavan, T., & Carbery, R. (2018). The Impact of Formal and Informal Distance on Gender Equality Approaches: The Case of a British MNC in Saudi Arabia. Thunderbird International Business Review, 60(2), 147–159. 

Ali, M., Metz, I., & Kulik, C. T. (2015). The Impact of Work-Family Programs on the Relationship between Gender Diversity and Performance. Human Resource Management, 54(4), 553–576. 

American Psychological Association. (2015). APA dictionary of psychology (2nd ed.). Washington: American Psychological Association. 

Beck, D. (2005). EEO in senior management: Women executives in Westpac. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 43(2), 273–288. 

Cooke, F. L., Wood, G., Wang, M., & Veen, A. (2019). How far has international HRM travelled? A systematic review of literature on multinational corporations (2000–2014). Human Resource Management Review, 29(1), 59–75. 

Donnelly, R. (2015). Tensions and challenges in the management of diversity and inclusion in IT services multinationals in India. Human Resource Management, 54(2), 199–215. 

Festing, M., Knappert, L., & Kornau, A. (2015). Gender-specific preferences in global performance management: An empirical study of male and female managers in a multinational context. Human Resource Management, 54(1), 55–79. 

Gavett, G., & Perry, M. (2019). The Gender Gap in 6 Charts. Retrieved from 

Hennekam, S., Tahssain-Gay, L., & Syed, J. (2017). Contextualising diversity management in the Middle East and North Africa: a relational perspective. Human Resource Management Journal, 27(3), 459–476. 

Hoogendoorn, S., Oosterbeek, H., & Van Praag, M. (2013). The impact of gender diversity on the performance of business teams: Evidence from a field experiment. Management Science, 59(7), 1514-1528. 

Kalev, A., Dobbin, F., & Kelly, E. (2006). Best practices or best guesses? Assessing the efficacy of corporate affirmative action and diversity policies. American Sociological Review, 71, 589–617. 

Kemper, L. E., Bader, A. K., & Froese, F. J. (2017). Diversity management in ageing societies: A comparative study of Germany and Japan. Management Revue, 27(1-2), 29–49. 

Kemper, L. E., Bader, A. K., & Froese, F. J. (2018). Promoting gender equality in a challenging environment: The case of Scandinavian subsidiaries in Japan. Personnel Review, 48(1), 56–75.

Klarsfeld, A. (Ed.). (2010). International Handbook on Diversity Management at Work Country Perspectives on Diversity and Equal Treatment. Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. 

Martins, L. L., & Parsons, C. K. (2007). Effects of gender diversity management on perceptions of organizational attractiveness: The role of individual differences in attitudes and beliefs. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92(3), 865–875. 

Ng, C. W., & Chiu, W. C. K. (2001). Managing equal opportunities for women: Sorting the friends from the foes. Human Resource Management Journal, 11(1), 75–88. 

Ng, E. S., & Sears, G. J. (2017). The glass ceiling in context: the influence of CEO gender, recruitment practices and firm internationalisation on the representation of women in management. Human Resource Management Journal, 27(1), 133–151. 

Olsen, J. E., Parsons, C. K., Martins, L. L., & Ivanaj, V. (2016). Gender diversity programs, perceived potential for advancement, and organizational attractiveness: An empirical examination of women in the United States and France. Group and Organization Management, 41(3), 271–309. 

Özbilgin, M. F., Syed, J., Ali, F., & Torunoglu, D. (2012). International Transfer of Policies and Practices of Gender Equality in Employment to and among Muslim Majority Countries. Gender, Work and Organization, 19(4), 345–369. 

Roh, H., & Kim, E. (2016). The Business Case for Gender Diversity: Examining the Role of Human Resource Management Investments. Human Resource Management, 55(3), 519–534. 

Sandberg, S., & Thomas, R. (2018). Progress for Women Isn’t Just Slow—It’s Stalled. Retrieved from Wall Street Journal - Online Edition website: 

Seierstad, C. (2016). Beyond the Business Case: The Need for Both Utility and Justice Rationales for Increasing the Share of Women on Boards. Corporate Governance: An International Review, 24(4), 390–405. 

United Nations. (2019). Global Issues. Retrieved from 

Virick, M., & Greer, C. R. (2012). Gender diversity in leadership succession: Preparing for the future. Human Resource Management, 51(4), 575–600. 


Dr Katharina Bader
Senior Lecturer in International Human Resource Management
Programme Leader MBA

email sig T:  +44 (0)191 227 3988

E:  [log in to unmask]


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