Document Type : Research Paper


1 Organizational Entrepreneurship, Faculty of Entrepreneurship, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Faculty of Entrepreneurship, Farshi Moghadam Street


Despite significant strides towards gender equality in the workplace, the achievement of a genuinely balanced environment where opportunities and progress are gender-blind remains elusive. This article delves into the intricate choreography of gender dynamics, illuminating the often subtle and imperceptible barriers that hinder women's professional advancement. We grapple with uncomfortable realities, challenge detrimental stereotypes, and propose coaching strategies aimed at navigating women through a labyrinth of gender-specific obstacles. Additionally, we explore the influence of gender on leadership, communication, and decision-making styles, underscoring the urgency to encourage candid dialogue within organizations and to design career trajectories that shatter invisible barriers. Our methodology embraces a systematic review approach, wherein we have meticulously perused multiple databases to isolate studies focusing on coaching strategies for women in the workplace. The thrust of our exploration lies in peer-reviewed studies assessing the effectiveness of coaching techniques specifically addressing women's workplace challenges, whilst excluding studies related to personal development or life coaching. Our extensive review uncovers a panorama of diverse coaching interventions—ranging from one-on-one coaching and group coaching to mentoring programs—all aiming to reshape gender perceptions and attitudes. A particular focus is laid on the role of mentoring, revealing its significant impact on perceptions of women in leadership positions and on men's attitudes towards their female counterparts in leadership. The findings paint a complex and nuanced picture of the gender dynamics that permeate modern workplaces. Moreover, the review underscores the necessity of recognizing gender differences without resorting to simplistic stereotypes. It reinforces the findings of existing literature that warns about the dangers of gender stereotypes and their capacity to limit women's opportunities. Furthermore, the review echoes the sentiment of fostering a culture of open gender dialogue within organizations. Supporting research suggests that organizations that proactively address gender issues are more likely to see improvements in diversity and inclusion. In line with our findings, there is a clear call for both formal and informal mentors. These mentors should encourage their female clients to conduct gender-based 360-degree assessments along with career and succession planning, tools that have shown efficacy in overcoming gender barriers. Also, the review draws attention to the challenges women face in male-dominated workplaces and emphasizes the importance of providing support for women in such environments. This thorough review narrates a hopeful tale about the power of coaching to alleviate gender-based biases, break down barriers to professional advancement, and develop essential skills for women in the modern workplace. The review asserts the need for coaches to develop a collaborative relationship with their female clients, addressing challenges without casting blame or portraying incompetence. The journey towards gender equity, albeit strenuous, can be navigated through careful mentoring and conscientious coaching. Looking forward, future research should cast a wider net to explore the effectiveness of mentoring while considering intersectionality with other identity aspects such as race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. This broader research approach could foster a richer understanding of how coaching can act as a catalyst for women facing multi-dimensional discrimination, paving the way for a more inclusive, equitable work environment. In summary, the review emphasizes that coaching, especially when tailored to meet the unique needs and experiences of women in diverse industries and organizations, can be a highly effective tool for fostering gender equality. However, it is equally important to note that coaching should not be viewed as a panacea but as part of a larger effort to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. The findings further suggest that mentoring interventions need to be supported by broader organizational policies and practices that challenge unconscious biases and foster gender equity. The review culminates in a conceptual model illustrating the knowledge that educators need to impart to women to navigate gender dynamics in the workplace, thus aiding in the creation of a balanced, inclusive workplace environment.


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