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Stereotypes and symbolic annihilation: press constructions of women at the top

Judy McGregor (Judy McGregor holds a personal chair and is Head of the Human Resource Management Department at Massey University, New Zealand. Previously she was a newspaper editor.)

Women in Management Review

ISSN: 0964-9425

Article publication date: 1 August 2000

Abstract

Press constructions of the appointment of a female to New Zealand’s top corporate position are examined against the theory that women are “symbolically annihilated” by the news media. A study of press clippings shows that news was framed primarily around gender and age and that questions about marital status and child‐rearing devalued and trivialised the elevation of a woman to the top. Contrary to other research there is evidence that female reporters framed the news differently from male journalists. The strategies of challenging poor reporting practices and cultivating better performing journalists are outlined for use by women in management.

Keywords

Citation

McGregor, J. (2000), "Stereotypes and symbolic annihilation: press constructions of women at the top", Women in Management Review, Vol. 15 No. 5/6, pp. 290-295. https://doi.org/10.1108/09649420010343186

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MCB UP Ltd

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