Leading and Managing in the Social Sector

Part of the series Management for Professionals pp 155-173


Gender at Work: An Experiment in “Doing Gender”

  • Aruna RaoAffiliated withGender at Work
  • , David KelleherAffiliated withGender at Work
  • , Carol MillerAffiliated withGender at Work Email author 
  • , Joanne SandlerAffiliated withGender at Work
  • , Rieky StuartAffiliated withGender at Work
  • , Tania PrincipeAffiliated withGender at Work

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Gender at Work is a virtual, transnational, feminist network with over twenty-six associates and a small complement of staff based in 12 countries that support organizational and institutional change to end discrimination against women and build cultures of equality in organizations. The linking of virtual and transnational aspects of Gender at Work enables us to be in many places at the same time, to explore approaches to organizational and institutional change that are acutely sensitive to context, and to exchange and co-create knowledge that subverts the traditional North/South divide. At the same time, the small management core with primary fundraising responsibility and part-time, intermittent nature of associate’s participation poses significant organizational challenges such as: How to support communication across the network and beyond? How to facilitate learning and knowledge building? How to develop approaches to accountability that resonate with our values? How to develop and resource institutionalized ways of supporting such functions and processes that don’t by default lead us into a hierarchal mode of operating or push up operating costs. This chapter will discuss the development of Gender at Work’s organizing strategy, how it functioned, how it was challenged by the growth of the organization, and how Gender at Work dealt with those challenges. It will also discuss how Gender at Work’s strategy may differ from other Social Sector Organizations (SSOs) and what difference that makes to “doing gender.”