Glass Walls: Shattering the Six Gender Bias Barriers Still Holding Women Back at Work


Product Details

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.5 X 0.81 inches | 1.17 pounds

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About the Author

Amy Diehl, PhD, is an award-winning information technology leader and gender equity researcher who has authored numerous scholarly journal articles and book chapters. Her writing has also appeared in Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, and Ms. Magazine. Glass Walls is her first book. She is also a sought-after speaker, consultant, and lawsuit expert witness. She resides in a small town in Pennsylvania. You can visit her online at

Leanne M. Dzubinski, PhD, is acting dean and associate professor of intercultural education in the Cook School of Intercultural Studies at Biola University in California. She is the author of Women in the Mission of the Church: Their Opportunities and Obstacles throughout Christian History and Playing by the Rules: How Women Lead in Evangelical Mission Organizations. She has written many scholarly articles related to gender bias and her work has been published in Harvard Business Review and Fast Company. Prior to moving to California, she worked in western Europe for many years.


Focused on shifting workplace gender bias, Diehl and Dzubinski base organizational behavior on "equalist" concepts replacing the allegedly controversial "feminist." To support the work that creating gender-equitable environments demands, chapters are based on six clear types of gender bias and contain examples of that bias to illuminate the obstacles for even sheltered or reluctant leaders. An instance in the chapter on male privilege illuminates the two-person career structure most clearly witnessed in the expectations tied to first-lady- and clergy-spouse roles. The authors contribute to reader understanding, expanding the use of their work to make it actionable as they conclude each chapter with a segment outlining strategies to guide three types of team members--leaders, allies, self--in creating a sustainably equitable workplace. For example, in the "Devaluation" chapter, the assignment of office "housework" encourages the employee (self) to prepare and then speak up, providing alternatives to the situation. The practicality and clarity make this a valuable contribution to collections in academic and public libraries.

This book identifies six gender bias barriers that hold women back: male privilege, disproportionate constraints, inappropriate support, devaluation, hostility, and acquiescence. There is a chapter for each, with subcategories. For instance, under disproportionate constraints is appropriating, which, in turn, draws on humorous and clever terms such as "hepeating," "bropropriating," and "mansplaining" to demonstrate how male colleagues often appropriate women's contributions. Making the point that gender bias is an organizational issue, not a women's issue, each chapter ends with strategies for leaders, allies, and the reader. The strategies are very clear, with good guidance on how to apply them. The theme of organizational responsibility is intensified in a chapter addressing how the six barriers often combine to cause damage not only to the victims but also to the organization itself. That chapter ends with a "Gender Equity and Inclusion Roadmap" toward an equitable, inclusive organization. The final chapter provides six strategies for "Taking Charge of Your Own Success." Readable and filled with familiar as well as evocative examples from the authors' substantial and well-documented research, this book is a worthwhile complement to The No Club: Putting a Stop to Women's Dead-End Work (2022). Highly recommended. Advanced undergraduates through faculty; professionals; general readers.

For all the women who've felt alone, held back, left out or unappreciated at work, (yes, please, ) for all the men who've cavalierly taken credit or failed to see the value of their female colleagues, and for all the leaders who've helped create the biased systems that so blindly diminish women and their contributions, this book is for you. Amy Diehl and Leanne Dzubinski have written a meticulously researched, compelling, infuriating yet ultimately hopeful roadmap that shines a spotlight on both the barriers to overcome and the practical strategies that will lead to a better, more equitable future of work - for everyone

Glass Walls reveals hidden gender biases that have plagued the traditional workplace. Drs. Diehl and Dzubinski's evidence-based approach to understanding how these biases operate ensure that leaders and organizations have a roadmap to finally shatter gender biases stifling women's careers and organizational potential. A must read for allies and leaders looking to quickly create real sustainable change!

Glass Walls couldn't have come at a better time. Drs Diehl and Dzubinski provide a much-needed framework to understand the playing field for women in today's working world - and the subtle mechanisms that continue to keep women out of positions of influence. More than just theory, however, it's a practical guide for the women, allies, and inclusive leaders crying out for strategies to overcome and ultimately, dismantle these invisible barriers.

Powerful! Glass Walls is a crucial resource for anyone seeking to promote gender diversity, cultivate creativity, and unlock the full potential of their workforce. Filled with examples of real and incredible women, and backed by research, this book is a call to action for individuals, management, and allies alike, providing the tools needed to break down barriers and build a more equitable and thriving workplace.

Amy Diehl and Leanne M. Dzubinski wrote a fascinating book on gender bias in the workplace. Glass Walls: Shattering the Six Gender Bias Barriers Still Holding Women Back at Work illuminates the pervasive yet invisible prejudices women face in the workplace. Check it out if you want to understand these hidden biases better!