Table of Contents

Handbook of Gendered Careers in Management

Handbook of Gendered Careers in Management

Getting In, Getting On, Getting Out

Research Handbooks in Business and Management series

Edited by Adelina M. Broadbridge and Sandra L. Fielden

Handbook of Gendered Careers in Management provides an international overview of current practice and theory surrounding gendered employment in management, illustrating the impact of gender on key stages of career development.

Chapter 19: ‘Woman as a project’: key issues for women who want to get on

Sharon Mavin, Jannine Williams, Patricia Bryans and Nicola Patterson

Subjects: business and management, diversity and management, gender and management, human resource management


The following chapter explores senior women’s key issues for women who want to get on as managers and leaders. We present analysis drawn from a wider qualitative study of 81 senior women who hold UK FTSE 100/250 executive/non-executive director and/or influential leader positions, set against a background assumption that ‘male-defined constructions of work and career success continue to dominate organizational research and practice’ (O’Neill et al., 2008, p. 727). The senior women participants have achieved a traditionally ‘masculine strategic situation’ (Tyler, 2005, p. 569) in breaking through the gendered glass ceiling (Morrison et al., 1987) and in doing so may be viewed as no longer ‘the organizational second sex’ or ‘others of management’ (Tyler, 2005, p. 572). The study, following Ellemers et al. (2012) and Chesterman et al. (2005), therefore explores experiences of women in high places who have overcome gendered barriers to achieve senior leader positions, and advances Terjesen et al.’s call for ‘truly innovative research into the female directors’ experiences’ currently lacking in the literature (Terjesen et al., 2009, p. 332).

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