Women, Business and Leadership
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Women, Business and Leadership

Gender and Organisations

Edited by Alexander-Stamatios Antoniou, Cary Cooper and Caroline Gatrell

This timely and comprehensive book analyses the role of women in leadership from both managerial and socio-emotional perspectives. The authors review the issues that affect real women in business and evaluate what can be done to support and develop women managers. Chapters explore topics such as the stereotyping of leading women, gender equality and discrimination, the glass ceiling and barriers to promotion, the work/home conflict, the gender pay gap and job insecurity, female authority and career development.
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Chapter 15: Experiencing a secret career in healthcare science

Valerie Bevan

Abstract

This chapter explores why women working in healthcare science keep quiet about their career aspirations both at work and at home contributing to fewer women reaching top positions. Drawing on texts from women and men healthcare scientists and a long career in healthcare science, the author shows how men succeed in keeping women in their subordinate “place” and why women find it difficult to escape from this place. Men exclude and downplay the contributions of women in healthcare science by a variety of subtle masculinist behaviors, sapping women’s confidence: women being candid about ambitions can be counterproductive and it is less problematic to keep quiet about their career aspirations. Subtle masculinist behaviors are also exhibited by some husbands (all women in this research living with heterosexual partners were married) so that women find it less confrontational to downplay their career aspirations at home to the point of having secret careers.

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