Shruti R. Sardeshmukh
Shruti R. Sardeshmukh and Ronda M. Smith
Innovation is a crucial capability in today’s marketplace, and it is clear that employees are the source of organizational innovation. Effective pursuit of innovation requires that organizations leverage the benefits of their workforce diversity by embracing novel ideas coming from all their employees. Women form nearly half of the workforce, and yet female employees’ innovative ideas are often invisible. Bringing together literature from diversity and innovation, the chapter conceptually identifies structural and social barriers that can hinder female employees’ innovative activity in the two phases of the innovation process – idea generation and idea implementation. Based on diversity management literature, the chapter recommends gender-conscious practices that can be implemented in organizations. By incorporating gender and diversity management concepts in the innovation literature, the chapter contributes to the broader innovation research agenda and to the gender literature.