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Edited by Diana Bilimoria and Sandy Kristin Piderit
6 Women and success: dilemmas and opportunities Margaret M. Hopkins and Deborah A. O’Neil In today’s changing societal and organizational environments, traditional notions of what constitutes successful careers are open to interpretation. Deﬁnitions and measurements of success abound. There are subjective and objective as well as individual and organizational measures of success (Melamed, 1995; Sturges, 1999). Subjective measures of success incorporate internal individual perspectives, a person’s level of job satisfaction and sense of accomplishment. Objective ways of examining success include observable career accomplishments which can be measured by upward mobility and/or salary level. Objective success measures have been the norm for decades. However, research suggests that hierarchical constructions of career success are becoming increasingly obsolete (Sullivan, 1999). As Hall (1996, p. 1) notes ‘the career as a series of upward moves with steadily increasing power, income, status and security has died.’ In this chapter we will explore whether changing deﬁnitions of success have kept pace with changing notions of careers. We will discuss what success means to women, and explore the things that hinder and facilitate women in their quest to succeed. For many women there is no strict line of demarcation between work and life and they are striving to deﬁne career success on their own terms incorporating personal, professional, internal and external measurements. Changing notions of career development reﬂect the fact that careers and life are no longer as distinctly separate as they were once thought. Concepts such as kaleidoscope careers (Mainiero and Sullivan,...
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