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Project:
Women's Leadership

Workforce Dynamics: Text
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June 22, 2023

Mother Leads with Her Heart: A Case Study of Women Worker Leaders in the Men-Dominated Forestry Sector

The masculine image and the notions of manual work and physical strength have resulted in more men workers in forestry. This gender imbalance has influenced the sector’s leadership environment, a critical element in the workplace setting for meeting organizational goals. This study aims to investigate women’s leadership dynamics in Perhutani, the only state-owned enterprise responsible for managing forest resources in Indonesia. Utilizing in-depth interviews with 11 women leaders from middle to top management levels, we found that there is a perceived physical limitation barrier to being a woman leader in Perhutani. To climb the career ladder, a support system from family, colleagues, and supervisors is important. However, family can be two sides of a coin, as it is also acknowledged as an internal constraint to being a woman leader. Our respondents acknowledge leadership labyrinth theory in being able to reach top leadership positions and tokenism theory, pointing out that the benefits of women leadership for Perhutani include the realization of gender equality, referring to the key performance index from the Government of Indonesia. For our respondents, being in a men-dominated sector is considered one of the attractive aspects of being a woman leader. They felt constantly challenged, but in a positive way. With these circumstances, our respondents showcase leadership styles in line with the theories of heart leadership and mother leadership. Heart-led leaders draw on the qualities of empathy, love, and vulnerability, while mother leadership means not only leading with the heart of a mother, but also with the mission, vision, and actions of a mother.

September 30, 2020

Leading with the heart and/or the head? Experiences of women student leaders in top world forestry universities

Women have been historically underrepresented in the forest sector. Given a graying workforce, there is a significant opportunity to diversify the sector via a younger generation entering the industry. To a large extent, the gender situation in the forest sector is influenced by the education of employees in the sector. Therefore, it is beneficial to know the perceptions of women student leaders, as future industry leaders, about gender diversity and equality in forestry universities. Utilizing interviews, we found that although our respondents perceived increase in the proportion of women students in forestry higher education, this is not proportionately reflected in the forestry workforce. Our respondents emphasize that women can be good leaders utilizing skills of listening, collaboration, and organization and it is not necessary to show agentic qualities to be considered a good leader.

April 9, 2020

The “Catch-22” of Representation of Women in the Forest Sector: The Perspective of Student Leaders in Top Global Forestry Universities

Although there are continuous efforts aimed at increasing gender diversity, the forest sector is still largely perceived as a male dominated field, indicated by a persistent masculine image. As a result, women are still underrepresented. Utilizing interviews, we found that greater representation of women in the forest sector is considered as one of the best solutions to attract young women to the industry. However, it presents a ‘Catch-22’ in which the solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem. We propose to change the forest sector image by tackling gender issues such as sexual harassment, and by simultaneously focusing on the good features of the industry such as its important role in a sustainable future and solutions for the modern world. For example, the sector can show its role in mitigating climate change and in supporting a more sustainable future economy (e.g., bioeconomy and green jobs) and urban built environment. In addition, changing the forest sector image should be supported with better marketing and promotion in various platforms, both online and offline. The sector also needs to utilize social media to attract younger generations.

April 9, 2019

“From nude calendars to tractor calendars”: The perspectives of female executives on gender aspects in the North American and Nordic forest industries

Increasing gender diversity is no longer just the right thing to do but also the smart thing to do. However, although there is general literature about gender diversity and the perspectives of females in top management and leadership, there are very few forest sector specific studies. This exploratory study utilizes interviews to better understand how female executives in North America and the Nordic countries of Finland and Sweden perceive the impact of the situation of gender diversity in the forest industry. Respondents also provide career advice for young females entering or considering entry into the industry. Female executives in both regions agree that although the forest sector is still seen as a male-oriented industry, there are signs of increasingly positive attitudes regarding industry/company culture towards the benefits of greater gender diversity. However, the described changes represent an evolution, not revolution. Interestingly, despite the status of Nordic countries as leaders in bridging the gender gap, respondents from this region believe that there is significant progress yet to be made in the forest industry, especially at the entry level. With respect to career development, North American respondents suggested young females should consider sacrificing their social life and leisure time activities. Instead, Nordic respondents emphasized personal supports or using exit strategy from an unsupportive company or boss.

Workforce Dynamics: Publications
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TV show

My segment on Women Empowerment episode of Spotlight, a TV show in KBVR TV, Oregon State University.

Workforce Dynamics: Text
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Radio show

My episode on Inspiration Dissemination, a radio show in KBVR FM, Oregon State University.

Workforce Dynamics: Text
Workforce Dynamics: News & Resources

Presentations

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2019 Society of Wood Science and Technology (SWST) International Convention: Yosemite CA, USA.

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2019 International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) World Congress: Curitiba, Brazil.

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2019 National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE): Portland OR, USA.

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2019 Celebrating Undergraduate Excellence (CUE): Corvallis OR, USA.

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2019 Oregon State University (OSU) President’s Commission Status of Women (PCOSW) Awards Celebration: Corvallis OR, USA.

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2019 International Forestry Students Association (IFSA) Canadian American Regional Meeting (CARM): Vancouver BC, Canada.

Project:
Organizational Dynamics

Workforce Dynamics: Text

September 25, 2022

Women’s Woodland Owner Network: A Comparative Case Study of Oregon (the United States) and Austria

Gender equality, as a preferred social norm based on both ethical considerations and legislative demands, can be boosted by networking. However, the concept of organizational networks is too often associated with old boys’ clubs or old boy networks that effectively exclude women, thus limiting their potential. As a result, there is a movement to form women-inspired networks, to address the experiences of women with a goal for increasing their perceptions of belonging and engagement. So how do such networks operate in practice? This research focuses on the organizational differences and commonalities in two women’s woodland owner networks, one in the US and one in Austria, in order to understanding how participation in networks influence the advancement of women in the forest sector. Based on expert interviews, we found that both cases well reflect current networking potential for strengthening the capabilities of women engaging in network activities. Regardless of country women in similar circumstances tend to have similar networks. Yet, there are some differences even among these organized networks operating with similar targets. Results also show the limitations of sole networking approaches for the enhancement of women’s positions in the men-dominated forest sector. We suggested more action in terms of active equality policies, such as mentoring/networking programs, family friendly policies, and quota/sensibilization measures for boards and selection committees to increase the gender balance in the sector and its related industries.

February 20, 2022

COVID-19 Anxiety as a Moderator of the Relationship between Organizational Change and Perception of Organizational Politics in Forestry Public Sector

In addition to an outstanding commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDG) agenda to good governance (goal no. 16), there is an argument that the SDGs can only be achieved through good governance with strong political institutions and processes. In Indonesia, a new era in politics has been marked with the new leadership of Joko Widodo (the current Indonesian President) who has a vision to reform the Indonesian bureaucracy. One of the bureaucratic reform implementations is the merging of the Ministry of Forestry and the Ministry of Environment into the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoE). In this kind of organizational change, employees may have increased perceptions of organizational politics and feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. This effect is suspected to be exacerbated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This article, therefore, aims to investigate the effects of organizational change in the public sector. Based on a survey of 112 state civil apparatuses in the forestry sector in Indonesia, we found that organizational change is positively related to employees’ perception of organizational politics. Nevertheless, our most intriguing finding is that the COVID pandemic situation has decreased employees’ perception of organizational politics. This is because political behaviors are difficult to perform in virtual working settings due to reduced face-to-face interaction and limited non-verbal cues.

July 8, 2021

Please Like Me: Ingratiation as a Moderator of the Impact of the Perception of Organizational Politics on Job Satisfaction

Drawing from the negative impacts of the perception of organizational politics (POP) on the literature on organizational outcomes, the model proposed in this study examines a nonlinear relationship of POP on job satisfaction. In a similar way, ingratiation as a moderator variable is tested. Based on a survey of 240 state-owned enterprise employees in Indonesia, this study finds that POP exhibits an inverted U-shaped relationship with job satisfaction. Low and high levels of POP have a negative impact on job satisfaction. Nevertheless, our most intriguing finding is that ingratiation behavior not only strengthens POP’s effects on job satisfaction, but can also alter the direction of the relationship in which its shape is represented by a U-shape. This shape indicates that the employees who engage in high levels of ingratiation as a coping mechanism and adaptive strategy tend to do so when they perceive high degrees of POP. These results are then discussed from a cross-cultural perspective as an attempt to explain the legitimacy of ingratiation in Indonesia.

Workforce Dynamics: Publications
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