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Women CEOs in New Zealand: where are you?

Rebecca Fawcett (Rebecca Fawcett works on large scale change projects in strategic human resources for Fletcher Challenge Ltd, New Zealand’s largest industrial company.)
Judith K. Pringle (Judith K. Pringle is a Senior Lecturer in Women in Organisations and Organisational Behaviour at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.)

Women in Management Review

ISSN: 0964-9425

Article publication date: 1 August 2000



As in many other countries, women are poorly represented at the highest levels of New Zealand organisations. This article discusses salient factors that emerged from a study of the decision‐making processes practised in the selection of chief executive officers (CEOs) in eight companies. The overall findings demonstrated informality, a lack of objective selection practices, and a reliance on networks for executive search. Specific additional factors impacting on women’s lack of advancement included: stereotyped views of CEOs based on masculine senior management cultures, homosocial reproduction and assessment based on traditional career models. Implied strategies for change include spotlighting any institutional sexism in selection by reviewing assessment practices. The article concludes by suggesting that working for “small wins” is likely to afford greater gains for women than attempting large‐scale change.



Fawcett, R. and Pringle, J.K. (2000), "Women CEOs in New Zealand: where are you?", Women in Management Review, Vol. 15 No. 5/6, pp. 253-260.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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