The Memo Every Woman Keeps in Her Desk Essay example

1161 Words May 27th, 2010 5 Pages
Case Analysis: The Memo Every Woman Keeps in Her Desk


In this case study, Liz Ames has come up against an all too common problem in business today: gender bias. Effectively managing racial, ethnic and gender diversity is not just a human resources issue; it is a serious business issue.
The recent departure of several senior-level women at Vision Software has significantly elevated Liz’s concern for gender bias at the company. She has arrived at a point where she feels compelled to communicate her frustration to their CEO, John Clark. She has experienced some uncertainty on whether or not she should send him a memo, and has asked for advice from a colleague whom she trusts.

Problem Statement

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Vision’s high cost of failing to address gender diversity issues will be significant, including the cost of turnover and the inability to attract and advance talented managers. In an environment of exclusionism, talented leaders of both genders will depart for better opportunities in more open and progressive companies.
In order to bolster her argument for gender diversity, Liz needs to remove all of the conjecture from her message. She needs to replace any statement that begins with “I believe” and replace it with facts. She could talk with the women who resigned to find out the true reasons for their departures rather than guessing and putting words into their mouths. For example, Susan French did not receive the esteem and authority that her male predecessors enjoyed. This disparity in authority caused Susan frustration that ultimately led to her resignation. Liz needs to cite this and other specific incidents that can be corroborated. She must choose her examples carefully, selecting only those that really strengthen her case. Stories of a man commending his wife and a male coworker going home to play mom are not firm examples of gender bias, thus weaken her argument. Stories of women being closed out of meetings and purposely excluded from conversations serve well to strengthen her case.
In her memo, Liz has adopted a negative and accusatory tone that could serve to alienate Clark, leading him to

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