Chapter 26: Supporting the Career Development of Managerial Women: Recent Evidence
* Ronald J. Burke1 INTRODUCTION Several factors have come together in making organizations more interested in supporting the career aspirations of professional and managerial women (Burke and Nelson, 2002). These include increases in the numbers of women who have the education, experience and track record for advancement, the shortage of qualified leaders and the lack of leadership bench strength reported by most organizations, increased competitive pressures that have put the spotlight on tangible job performance, the loss of qualified women as a result of ‘opting out’ (Hewlett and Luce, 2005), and the need to recruit and retain ‘the best and the brightest’ if one is to win the way for talent (Michaels et al., 2001). A small but increasing number of organizations in the UK and North America have implemented practices to support and develop managerial and professional women (Morrison, 1992; Davidson and Burke, 2000; McCracken, 2002). These organizations have reported positive outcomes such as an increasing number of women now participating in key training and development activities, and an increase in the number of women on the short list for promotions and achieving a more senior position. Several authors have chronicled the efforts of leading-edge organizations in supporting women’s advancement (Jafri and Isbister, 2002; Mattis, 2002; Spinks and Tombari, 2002; Mays et al., 2005; Rutherford, 2005). These writers describe specific initiatives (for example, flexible work hours, gender awareness training) and in some cases present evidence of the success of these efforts in supporting women’s career advancement. We still know relatively...
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