Handbook of Gendered Careers in Management
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Handbook of Gendered Careers in Management

Getting In, Getting On, Getting Out

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.
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Chapter 25: Playing, quitting or changing the game? A discussion of women managers’ responses to organizational conditions

Yvonne Due Billing


I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse perhaps to be locked in. (Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own, 1929, p. 29) Organizations were originally constructed and developed according to expectations that men were the breadwinners, and careers were arranged on the presumption that only men would make a career (Witz and Savage, 1992). Career structures were reserved for men who could spend most of their time in the organization as they were often supported by a partner who took care of everything else, including perhaps a part-time job. The work practices and norms reflected men’s life situation (Meyerson and Kolb, 2000) and the competences required in the career positions were often those that were ascribed to men (Billing and Alvesson, 1994; Collinson and Hearn, 1996; Benschop and Doorewaard, 1998).

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