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The burgeoning literature on gender inequality and the increasing attention to women’s leadership roles make it difficult to see the broader picture of where things stand with regard to progress toward gender parity. In this paper, we provide a brief overview of the framing, structure, and challenges that encompass the most important issues about gender inequality in the workforce and the pathways toward gender equity. The paper draws extensively from the work of experts in the field of gender studies and labor force inequality, including in the fields of management and organization, sociology, and psychology. The first part of the paper discusses the analysis of gender as an organizing framework for social relations that has been enduring and outlines the primary explanations that have been offered in the research literature for gender inequality. The second part of the paper briefly reviews the structural and institutional factors that have contributed to ongoing gender inequality. The third part of the paper discusses a range of other obstacles that have presented challenges for women’s leadership success. The final part of the paper suggests possible future research directions.

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