When organizations are committed to gender equality, what gets in the way of their achieving it? How and why do well-intentioned people end up reinforcing sexism? Katie Lauve-Moon examines these questions by focusing on religious congregations that separated from their mainline denomination in order to support women’s equal leadership.
In Preacher Woman, Lauve-Moon concentrates on congregations affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF). Women are enrolling in Baptist seminaries at almost equal rates as men and CBF identifies the equal leadership of women as a core component of its collective identity, yet only five percent of CBF congregations employ women as solo senior pastors. Preacher Woman explores how congregations can be committed to ideas of gender parity while still falling short in practice. Lauve-Moon investigates how institutional sexism is upheld through both unconscious and conscious biases. In doing so, she demonstrates that addressing issues of sexism and gender inequality within organizations must extend beyond good intentions and inclusive policies.