The Memo Every Woman Keeps in Her Desk Essay

Decent Essays
Case Analysis: The Memo Every Woman Keeps in Her Desk


In this case study, Liz Ames has come up against an all too common problem in business today: gender bias. Effectively managing racial, ethnic and gender diversity is not just a human resources issue; it is a serious business issue.
The recent departure of several senior-level women at Vision Software has significantly elevated Liz’s concern for gender bias at the company. She has arrived at a point where she feels compelled to communicate her frustration to their CEO, John Clark. She has experienced some uncertainty on whether or not she should send him a memo, and has asked for advice from a colleague whom she trusts.

Problem Statement

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If Clark is just starting to recognize the high cost of losing these seasoned employees, he should be receptive to Liz’s message and wide open to strategies for resolving the issue. However, it would most likely be a mistake for Liz to communicate the message in a memo that she alone has authored. The one-way communication channel afforded by a memo does not provide Liz with the ability to tweak her message on the fly as she receives feedback from Clark.


Liz absolutely needs to communicate the important points of her memo to Clark, but this is far too important and complex of a subject to effectively address in a memo. A subject of this level of importance and involvement is much better suited for interactive communication. Liz’s colleague should advise her to work with him and other like-minded co-workers to develop a strong business case for gender diversity that will effectively persuade Clark, convincing him that Vision will lose out on the best executives, senior-level talent and potentially new business and customers if it continues to operate in an environment of exclusionism. Then, taking it a step further, they need to convince Clark that Vision will be able to capitalize on diversity by integrating it into their business strategy and company culture. Clark needs to be able to relate to their cause and adopt it as his own. They should be
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