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Feminism's marginal problem: Women in management

Jeffries, Ann and Palermo, Josephine 2003, Feminism's marginal problem: Women in management, in Re-searching research agendas : women, research and publication in higher education : proceedings of the Australian Technology Network-Women's Executive Development (ATN-WEXDEV) 2003 Research Conference, Learning Support Network for the ATN WEXDEV 2003 Research Conference Committee, Perth, W.A., pp. 61-73.

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Title Feminism's marginal problem: Women in management
Author(s) Jeffries, Ann
Palermo, Josephine
Conference name Australian Technology Network. Women's Executive Development Program. Research Conference (2003 : Curtin University of Technology, W.A.)
Conference location Perth, Australia
Conference dates 25-27 June 2003
Title of proceedings Re-searching research agendas : women, research and publication in higher education : proceedings of the Australian Technology Network-Women's Executive Development (ATN-WEXDEV) 2003 Research Conference
Editor(s) Groombridge, Barbara
Mackie, Vera
Publication date 2003
Start page 61
End page 73
Publisher Learning Support Network for the ATN WEXDEV 2003 Research Conference Committee
Place of publication Perth, W.A.
Summary Contemporary feminism has, from its inception, been ambivalent in its responses to the issue of women in management. On the one hand, feminists have recognised as a problem the limited numbers of women in management and the barriers that they encounter. They have promoted the development of programs such as affirmative action with, arguably, greater, or lesser success. At the same time, there has been a reluctance by some feminists to attach too much importance to the issue, given the manifestly more severe forms of discrimination encountered by other groups of women. According to this view, the problems of a privileged elite are a lesser priority, that is, marginal to more pressing feminist concerns.

This paper is based on research into career success predictors. It draws on work on culture and models of change in higher education to show that while interventions such as legislation granting maternity leave are significant initiatives to be strongly supported, the impact of such policies is mediated by the social rules of the organisation. These rules are a corollary of enduring value structures which are embedded in organisational cultures.

Research findings showed that the value systems, and especially the social rules which operate within organisations impact on men and women's career success differently. This research provides valuable insights into the mechanisms operating at several levels (at the organisational level as well as at the level of individual women) which tend to construct women as marginal in management.

Seeking to understand the marginality experienced by women in management has benefits that extend well beyond improving the lot of individual women managers. This is because better conceptualisations of marginality and, concomitantly, power in organisations can provide leverage for more far reaching changes for women generally.
Notes Reproduced with the kind permission of the copyright owner.
ISBN 174067328X
9781740673280
Language eng
Field of Research 170107 Industrial and Organisational Psychology
HERDC Research category E1.1 Full written paper - refereed
Copyright notice ©2003, ATN WEXDEV
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30009807

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.