Past CGO Speaker Series and Seminars

The Center for Gender in Organizations hosts many speakers and seminars. The following material summarizes some of the past CGO Distinguished Scholar Speaker Series.

CGO Hosts Learning Seminar on Cultural Intervention in Policing

On October 19, 2004, CGO hosted Dr. Joan Eveline of the University of Western Australia and Dr. Michael Booth of Murdoch University (Perth, Australia) for a learning seminar on "Policing Identity, Gender and Process: Cultural Intervention in the Western Australia Police Service." Joan and Michael discussed the process and outcomes of a cultural intervention project they led within an Australian police service. The ambitious goal of the intervention project was to change the male-identified nature of policing. To date over 1,100 police service staff have joined in seven completed action research projects, and outcomes include a women-only leadership development program for both sworn officers and public servants, a mentoring program and staff development fund for women public service officers (unsworn officers), a female assistant commissioner to head the training academy, changes to recruiting and re-employment criteria, the removal of the time-at-rank promotion system which hampered those with family responsibilities, and a high-level implementation committee chaired by the Commissioner of Police. The committee's brief—to develop an inclusionary cultural identity for policing—is supported by the inclusion of senior and junior personnel plus as outsiders the State Equal Opportunity Commissioner and two academics specializing in gender and organization. A paper written by Joan and Michael, reflecting on the on the micropolitics of project ownership, capacity-building, frame-matching and identity at work for these members, the continuing forces ranged against change, and the background effects of a concurrent Royal Commission into police malpractice, will soon be published in the journal Gender, Work and Organization.


Unpacking Leadership: Who Gets to Lead and Why? (2001-2002)

The topic of leadership has received much attention—from the Greeks to Machiavelli to today's management gurus—yet this interest has emphasized some ideas at the expense of others. In our seminar series, we "unpacked" the concept of leadership. We explored both traditional and alternative notions of "leading" and "following" to understand whose interests and what purpose these concepts serve. We heard from a variety of academics and practitioners who challenged conventional wisdom, and expanded our understanding to address such questions as:

  • Leadership for what and for whom?
  • Who is allowed to lead and why?
  • Why do certain models of leadership take hold while others do not?
  • How do organizations cultivate leaders?

A Generation of Professional Women in Leadership: Findings from Three New Research Studies

Jill Silverstein, Vice President and Director of Corporate Education, State Street Research and Management Company
Laurie Slavitt, Executive Director, Winds of Change Foundation
Marion Ruderman, Research Scientist, Center for Creative Leadership

Where Does Leadership Lead?: New Ways of Thinking About a Familiar Topic

Mona Harrington, Program Director, Workplace Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Alison Bowens, Executive Director, Women's Institute for Leadership Development (WILD)

Who Do We Follow and Why?

Patricia Romney, President and Founder, Romney Associates
Kathy Kram, Professor of Organizational Behavior, Boston University
Marion McCollom Hampton, Southwind Associates

Racial Taboos and the Dynamics of Leadership

David Thomas, H. Naylor Fitzhugh Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
Marion McCollom Hampton, Southwind Associates

Voices from the Field: Leadership for Social Change

Lucia Rayas, President of the Board of Directors, Association for Women's Rights in Development; Regional Policy Advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean, IPAS
Shamillah Wilson, Young Women and Leadership Program Manager, Association for Women's Rights in Development


Building Alliances Across Differences: 2000 - 2001

Building Alliances Across Differences? was the title of the Center for Gender in Organizations' (CGO) 2000-2001 Seminar Series. In the 1999-2000 Seminar Series, we explored new ways of thinking about constructing alliances in order to help groups in organizations work together to transform their workplaces in ways that advance both equity and effectiveness. In this series, we stepped back from the assumption of building alliances and instead focused on what some of the challenges are to finding ways to create alliances. We asked, who is it that wants to engage in alliance-building, and for what reasons? What are other ways of thinking about working across differences? Our seminar speakers drew on a range of disciplines and expertise to explore potential for and challenges to alliance-building in different arenas and amongst different identity groups.

What Does it Mean to Be Chinese (and Female) in the United States?

Elena Yang, Independent Scholar

Imagine Coexistence: Narratives from Fieldwork in Rwanda

Sara Cobb, Executive Director, Program on Negotiation, Harvard Law School

Negotiating the Spirit of the Deal: Economic and Social Contracts in Longer Term Agreements

James Sebenius, Professor, Harvard Business School

Working Toward Multiculturalism: The Case of the Boston Women's Fund

Carmen Chan, Co-Chair of Board, Boston Women's Fund
Jean Entine, Executive Director, Boston Women's Fund
Catherine Joseph, Director of Grants Program, Boston Women's Fund

WomenBridgeRace: The Connections Between Racial Legacies, Intimacy, and the Use of Power

Members of WomenBridgeRace: Rita Andrews, Toni Dunton-Butler, Delyte Frost, and Patricia Wilson


Building Alliances Across Differences: 1999 - 2000

The 1999 CGO conference, Gender at Work, highlighted two barriers to change in organizations around gender equity: 1) the splits and competition between different groups of women (e.g., white women and women of color, gay and straight women, women across hierarchical divides); and 2) the splits and competition between women and men.

In our seminars, we explored new ways to address these barriers in order to promote equity and effectiveness in organizations. Scholars and practitioners of coalition theory, social movements theory, dialogue, and relational practice, to name a few, have experimented with and studied various approaches to building alliances. In each seminar we paired a scholar who focuses on alliance-building in different arenas amongst different identity groups to talk about their work with a practitioner whose work focuses on a particular approach to alliance-building (e.g., dialogue or coalition-building). This approach helped us to generate new ways of thinking about alliance-building with the goal of empowering and mobilizing different groups in organizations to work together to transform their workplace.

Relational Practice: Illustrations from Union Alliance-Building

Jean Baker Miller, Director, Jean Baker Miller Training Institute at Wellesley College
Kris Rondeau, Director of Organizing, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees' Higher Education Division

Promises and Dilemmas of Coalitions from Varied Perspectives: Latina/Latino Political Organizing in Boston and the Role of White Men in Multicultural Coalitions

Mark Chesler, Professor of Sociology, University of Michigan
Carol Hardy-Fanta, Director of Research, Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy, John W. McCormack Institute of Public Affairs, University of Massachusetts

Balancing Interests and Forging Common Platforms: Illustrations from Alliance-Building Within and Between Groups

Michael Piore, Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Karen Proudford, Assistant Professor of Management, Morgan State University

Identity Politics, Coalition Building, and Social Movements: Illustrations from Alliance-Building in the Gay Movement

William Gamson, Professor of Sociology, Boston College
Sue Hyde, New England Field Organizer and Director, "Creating Change" Conference, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force