Women in Leadership Research Network

Supporting fresh thinking on female leadership challenges. The Women in Leadership (WiL) Research Network connects finance, economics and law faculty at UNSW with other academics and organizations interested in fresh thinking and creative solutions to female leadership challenges.

Research by Goldman Sachs (2011) estimates that raising women’s labour force participation to the level of men’s would increase Australia’s output by $180 billion dollars and increase its GDP by 13%. Other countries in the region would benefit even more. To increase female labour force participation it is important to reduce the barriers women face to leadership positions. These barriers are sometimes found in the workplace but they are often embedded in social expectations about women’s roles.

The goal of the Women in Leadership Research Network is to support fresh thinking about female leadership challenges, in corporations and in society. We aim to work with academics and organizations to develop creative solutions to female leadership problems. By leveraging our organizational partnerships, we will acquire real-world data to which we will apply best-practice methods of analysis. By disentangling causality from correlation in the female leadership debate, we will deliver both academic and policy insights.

The logo for the Women in Leadership Research Network is inspired by the glass ceiling of London’s Crystal Palace that housed the Great Exhibition of 1851. The Crystal Palace was considered revolutionary—both because of its architecture and because of what it contained. It displayed cutting edge technology for the Industrial Era. Our logo reflects the fact that the Women in Leadership Research Network is part of a revolutionary movement. The window invokes both the traditional concept of the “glass ceiling” that represents women’s struggle for leadership and their accomplishments as well as the idea of looking to discover new possibilities. The spokes connect ideas from different individuals to support fresh thinking that moves us past the glass ceiling and helps expand women’s and men’s roles in society.