According to Feminist Institutionalization approach (Margeart and Lombardo, 2014) institutions are formal and informal gendered structures and norms that can reproduce but also counteract gender inequalities (Chappell, 2006, Mackay, Monro and Waylen, 2009). There have been many attempts to find a solution for the resistance to change in gendered organizational cultures. Implementing new ideas and building up relationships, rather than merely focusing on individual needs (Beer, Eisenstat, & Spector, 1990), channeling resistance into more constructive aspects (Weisbord,1987) focusing on targeted action and taking certain steps to overcome any loss of status on the side of the employees after change (Dent & Goldberg, 1999) are some of the proposed strategies. Among such attempts, personnel-based equality programs have largely been unsuccessful due to their sole focus on the personal level, rather than the structural level.
Some of the more successful experiences were the ones which used project names that do not include such words as “equality” and “women”. Since such names do not point at a specific group, individuals were more eager to perceive the aims and the practices of the project in a more neutral way (ibid.). Focusing on the idea of opportunities and running a gender sensitive agenda in the project would initiate a certain tone, which would persuade individuals to believe that it is to the benefit of all. In this respect, Liff and Cameron (1997) suggest that organizations should extend their benefits to men as well, rather than merely focusing on women’s issues. They can also be persuaded in more efficient ways if the situation is addressed in gender-neutral terms, considering that the solution is for the common benefit.
For the same purpose, awareness-raising groups for men as well as women can be organized. In such gatherings, benefits to men as well as the common good of the academic group can be stressed; the more women enjoy the same privileges as men do, the more success the institution as a whole will gain. In some cases, however, common good argument may not work very well, because of the competitive, individual/group based academic culture. Lunenburg (2010) suggests that high level management should promote education and communication; they should enable members to participate in and negotiate the processes of change to sustain their active involvement. Yet such an analysis is insufficient, since it reduces the problems of resistance towards change to relationships between individuals. But in fact, the resistance towards change may rather be considered as a structural problem, as there is a structure which inclines individuals towards the status quo. Moreover, higher level position holders are not gender experts. Therefore, it is difficult for them to foresee and monitor possible implications of gender projects in terms of resistance. As a result, it is suggested that within institutional structures that are gender-blind, gender skills must be actualized (Lombardo and Mergaert ,2013).