Edited by Diana Bilimoria and Sandy Kristin Piderit
Chapter 3: (No) Cracks in the Glass Ceiling: Women Managers, Stress and the Barriers to Success
Caroline Gatrell and Cary L. Cooper Introduction Why, one might ask, should women managers be stressed? In these days of ‘equal opportunities’, is it not the case that women ‘have it all’? It is certainly true that the number of women in all occupations has risen sharply over the past 30 years. And it is particularly the case that, for well-qualiﬁed women managers, opportunities to participate in paid employment are greater now than they were in previous decades. For the past 30 years, anti-discrimination and equal pay legislation has been in place to protect and encourage women in employment, and state-run and funded organizations have been set up to support working women: in the USA, the Department of Labor Women’s Bureau, and in the UK, the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), soon to become a single commission on equality and human rights. In the press and media, women are often portrayed as having ‘won’ the battle for equality at the expense of men, and of supposedly ‘male’ values. The UK BBC television reporter Michael Buerk, who has been described as ‘the most important journalist of the post-war period’ recently sparked off a furious debate by suggesting that ‘women increasingly set the agenda in business … and in society at large, [and] women’s values are now considered superior to men’s values.’ (Gibson, 2005). Buerk argues that men have been emasculated by women’s rise up the corporate and political ladder and asserts that there is a need to reverse this trend. While some...
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