extra award

Mirvac (A): Building Balance

Published 24 Feb 2020
Reference 6527
Region Other Regions
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Prizes & Awards

2020 Outstanding Case Writer Hot Topic Winner, Diversity and Discrimination, The Case Centre

Summary

This award-winning case explores the challenges facing Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz, the CEO of Mirvac, an Australian property group, as she leads a major initiative to ‘mainstream’ flexible work arrangements across the organization. Spurred by dismal employee engagement numbers, including widespread dissatisfaction with work-life balance, she is determined to extend flex-time opportunities to all 1500 employees, including those in the male-dominated Construction division. The challenges are related to traditional attitudes within the industry and the company, the stigmatization of flex-time as smply accommodating working mothers at head office, and Lloyd-Hurwitz’s own legitimacy to lead such a change. Her decision to press the leadership team to roll out the flexibility policy in the Construction division first exemplifies vision and courage. The roll-out illustrates how companies that identify/address systemic barriers can shift attitudes that often block the adoption of change initiatives. The use of male employees to experiment with flexibility in Construction and the support of male champions demonstrate that it is possible to erode stereotypes in programmes for gender diversity, equity and inclusion. The case explores Lloyd-Hurwitz’s various leadership styles and the features of the change initiative which create the ‘psychological safety’ that enable employees to join the collective gamble to implement an unprecedented change.

Teaching objectives

The case allows instructors to explore change management; diversity, equity and inclusion; and authentic visionary leadership – with a female CEO as the protagonist.

Keywords
  • Change management
  • Diversity
  • Leadership
  • Organizational change
  • Organizational culture
  • Diversity, equity & inclusion
  • Flexible work
  • Psychological safety
  • Women
  • Women executives
  • Gender
  • Work force management
  • Alternative work arrangements
  • Top management and change
  • Leadership style
  • Gender stereotypes
  • Women’s leadership
  • Women’s leadership vision
  • Working mothers
  • Working parents
  • Sustainability
  • Construction
  • Real estate development
  • Sustainable real estate development
  • Sustainable development goals
  • Q12020