Group Discussion Guide: Gender in the Workplace

Lesson 4 — What Can We Do?

  1. Denise challenges us to think of creative solutions that provide for the flourishing of men and women together even though our workplaces are part of life in the “messy middle,” where there are no ideal solutions.
    What are some the challenges unique to your workplace? What are some of the competing values that need to be considered when creating a healthy organizational culture?

  2. Take a moment to reflect on the four ways in which individuals can help create a workplace where men and women thrive: demonstrating competence, connecting with people, negotiating effectively, and building social capital.
    In which of these four areas do you personally have the most room for improvement? What are some practical steps you can take to improve?

  3. Denise offers five propositions for organizations to consider when creating their culture: identifying subtle biases, recruiting women to leadership roles, avoiding tokenism, mentoring men and women, and supporting families.
    By this rubric, how healthy is your organization’s culture? What factors are preventing the flourishing of men and women together, and what can be done about it?

  4. Our churches ought to be at the forefront when it comes to the flourishing of men and women together, although we often fall short. However, there are steps we can take to help Christians think well about the relationship between men and women, including featuring men and women in our teaching, creating programming that supports professional women, and focusing on the gifting of all of God’s people.
    Where does your church do well with these things? Where does it need to improve? What role can you play in helping to maintain a healthy church culture for men and women?

  5. Biblical scholar Marva Dawn has written that, for the biblical writers, “The woman is a perfectly equitable companion, a helper who corresponds to the man. There is no hierarchy, but she is one who sustains and assists in a partnership of equals."
    As you go out into the workplace, how can you contribute to a professional culture in which men and women collaborate in “a partnership of equals”?