Building Gender Balance Through Behavioural Design

Motivated by many conversations with global business leaders working toward creating gender equality and gender balance who are struggling along these lines, we at INSEAD’s Gender Initiative ( are investigating solutions ourselves, and watching for others’ rigorous scholarly work. Thus, we were delighted to host Professor Iris Bohnet on our Singapore campus. She presented insights from her book and current work with organisations, and we share a few highlights here. This article is co-authored by Clarissa Cortland, and it is published on our Knowledge website.

What can organisations do when changing mindsets isn’t enough?

For advocates of workplace gender balance, one of the chief obstacles is the immobility of mindsets. Regardless of our intentions, traditional stereotypes about how men and women work dwell within most of us and can affect our decision making without our necessarily being aware of them. And because unconscious gender biases often have deep cultural foundations, they can be very difficult to shift.