Handbook of Research on Promoting Women’s Careers
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Handbook of Research on Promoting Women’s Careers

Edited by Susan Vinnicombe, Ronald J. Burke, Stacy Blake-Beard and Lynda L. Moore

In a changing world where women have dominated as graduates from universities in the West, recent research has shown that the same trend is also strikingly evident in the newly emerging markets. Tapping into this female talent pool is extremely important and advancing women’s careers has become a key business issue. This Handbook lays out a number of promising approaches. First the business case for doing so is presented. The challenges facing women are reviewed, followed by various programs that address particular needs such as mentoring, leadership development programs for women, work and family initiatives, and succession planning. Finally, case studies of award-winning organizational initiatives are described.
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Chapter 2: The continuing challenge of incorporating race and ethnicity into research on women’s management careers

Stella M. Nkomo


Despite theoretical developments that point to the problems with solely focusing on gender when studying the careers of women in management, it still appears to be a challenge for scholars to abandon this dominant approach. Too often we persist in treating women and gender as unitary and homogenous analytical categories. We continue to either focus on gender as if all women are homogenous, or we focus on documenting the unique experiences of ethnic/racial minority women. Sometimes in respect to the former we may admit our omissions and note them in the limitation section of our work. None of these approaches is wholly satisfying for either understanding the complexity and diversity of women’s experiences in management careers worldwide or how to effectively rectify the continued marginalization of ethnic/racial minority women in managerial careers. The purpose of this chapter is three-fold. The first section reviews developments in feminist theoretical perspectives that may be helpful in applying a more inclusive research approach to the study of the influence of race and ethnicity on the careers of women in management.

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