This paper sets out to examine the experiences of female managers in order to enhance our understanding of why there is a relative scarcity of senior female managers in one of the newest sectors of the Irish economy, the high‐tech sector. Because this sector has effectively only emerged in Ireland in the last 15 years, it had been expected to provide a unique genderless environment in which female managers would emerge in equal numbers to their male counterparts.
This paper takes a qualitative approach. A series of interviews were carried out with 20 female junior and middle managers in this industry segment.
The results of the interviews illustrate that a combination of formal and informal organizational policies and procedures, together with a “self‐imposed” glass ceiling hamper women in junior and middle management positions from advancing to senior managerial roles in this important segment of the Irish economy.
One of the limitations of this study relates to the sample. Further research expanding on this initial sample into other industry sectors is required.
One issue that emerged from the interviews is the concept of a “self‐imposed glass ceiling”, where individual female managers are actively weighing up the costs and the benefits of moving to the next level of management. Based on their analysis of this information they are individually deciding whether or not to engage in the activities, which will assist their carrier progression. The role of individual choice may assist us in explaining the low numbers of women at senior management level.
Cross, C. and Linehan, M. (2006), "Barriers to advancing female careers in the high‐tech sector: empirical evidence from Ireland", Women in Management Review, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 28-39. https://doi.org/10.1108/09649420610643394Download as .RIS
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