Dueling Schemata: Dialectical Sensemaking About Gender

Foldy, E.G.
Journal of Applied Behavioral Science Vol. 42, No. 3, 350-372.

Recent scholarship has shown that, despite the broad representation of women in the workplace, gender inequities in organizations remain widespread. Because gender schema ”embedded ways of thinking about men and women” contribute to this phenomenon, addressing such mental models should be a part of gender equity initiatives. This article provides data that suggest that some individuals hold within themselves quite contradictory schemas of men and of women. It then illustrates how individuals can use these internal inconsistencies to push through superficial understandings of gender to more complex ones. By facilitating this learning process in training and other kinds of organizational events, change agents can strengthen organizational efforts to achieve gender equity.

Wagner Faculty