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 7: Women’s occupational motivation: the impact of being a woman in a man’s world

Kim Peters, Michelle K. Ryan and S. Alexander Haslam


Despite substantial improvement in women’s representation in the workplace in many Western countries (Soares et al., 2009), there are still marked differences in the types of roles and sectors in which women and men work. In particular, women remain stubbornly underrepresented in many stereotypically masculine industries, such as construction (9 per cent employees; Office for National Statistics, 2008), science and technology (33 per cent lecturers; HESA, 2009), the armed forces and police service (23 per cent of officers; Home Office, 2007), surgery (16 per cent trainees; RCS, 2011), and financial services (25 per cent senior officers; Catalyst, 2011). Moreover, the fact that women tend to leave these industries at higher rates than men do means that the further you move up the hierarchy, the more men come to dominate.

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