The impact of gender culture on women's career trajectories: an Australian case study

Andrea North‐Samardzic (Centro di Ricerca sui Sistemi Informativi, LUISS Guido Carli, Rome, Italy)
Lucy Taksa (Department of Business, Faculty of Business and Economics, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

ISSN: 2040-7149

Publication date: 29 March 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to examine the influence of gender culture and gender subtext on the career trajectories of women. It examines the organization as an arena in which underlying cultural processes maintain gender distinctions and barriers, thereby limiting the efficacy of policies specifically designed to increase the number of women at senior levels.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws on the findings of a qualitative case study of the perceptions of women's career trajectories in an Australian financial services organization. by examining the gender subtexts of organizational documentation we analyse the impact of gender culture, specifically the gender structure of the organization, gender identities of women managers and gender symbolism in organizational texts.

Findings

The findings highlight the way an organization's gender culture legitimate continuing gender distinctions and impose pressure on women to comply with masculine behavioral norms, while accepting gender distinctions and arrangements that reproduce inequalities.

Research limitations/implications

The findings illustrate that despite the case study organization being awarded for “best practice” in gender equity, the masculine gender culture of the organization indicates that systemic change to support the advancement of women is still strongly needed. Given that this case study is used as an illustrative example, future research should be mindful of the uniqueness of this particular context.

Originality/value

These findings provide insights into the way the goals of equity legislation, policies and programs can be undermined by the distinct gender culture of an organization.

Keywords

Citation

North‐Samardzic, A. and Taksa, L. (2011), "The impact of gender culture on women's career trajectories: an Australian case study", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 30 No. 3, pp. 196-216. https://doi.org/10.1108/02610151111124941

Download as .RIS

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.