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Is the glass ceiling cracked in information technology? A qualitative analysis: part 1

Steven H. Appelbaum (Professor of Management at John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada)
Neveen Asham (Technology Consultant in Montreal, Canada)
Kamal Argheyd (Professor of Management, at John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 6 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to qualitatively investigate, through a literature review of past studies and an in‐field case study, three different hypotheses regarding women working in the IT sector and their career and promotional aspirations.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was used for data collection from female employees with varying professional specializations across several IT departments within the company. Questions for the survey were designed from the findings of the literature review.

Findings

The results obtained have proven that married women who are intrinsically inspired to maintain their work‐family balance face higher stress and more conflicts than those who do not. In addition, the glass ceiling was still evident in today's corporations, but mainly affecting the older generation of women professionals. Also, the results slightly hinted at a ten‐year cut‐off period, after which promotional aspiration is lost.

Research limitations/implications

Owing to the limitations of the research conducted, further qualitative studies can be done to compare careers and promotional patterns between men and women in the IT departments, as well as those between women in IT departments and women working in other departments.

Practical implications

Employers should strive to provide their female employees with practical solutions to allow for an easier balancing of work‐family responsibilities, such as flexi‐time and telecommuting. At the same time, the employers should place the female employees in more opportunity‐enhancing positions within the corporation so that they can exploit or utilize their talents and increase the probability of climbing up the corporate ladder.

Originality/value

With a generous response rate, this paper provides a realistic perspective of professional females working within the IT domain with regard to their career and promotional aspirations.

Keywords

Citation

Appelbaum, S.H., Asham, N. and Argheyd, K. (2011), "Is the glass ceiling cracked in information technology? A qualitative analysis: part 1", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 43 No. 6, pp. 354-361. https://doi.org/10.1108/00197851111160487

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited