Career advancement in Australian middle managers: a follow‐up study

Glenice J. Wood (University of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia)

Women in Management Review

ISSN: 0964-9425

Publication date: 1 June 2006



The current study followed up middle managers who had participated in a survey on attitudes to promotion in 1996. The vast majority of the original sample had responded favourably to the question: “Do you want to obtain a senior management position during your managerial career?” In addition, respondents were asked “How confident are you that this will happen?” and “How soon do you feel this will happen?” The aim of this follow up qualitative study is to contact as many of these individuals as possible, to explore the outcome to these questions, and to track what has happened to them in their management careers over the past eight years.


Interviews were conducted with 19 male and 11 female managers. Outcomes of promotion aspirations were sought, and factors that contributed to success and personal strategies that may have been set in place were explored, as were factors that had hindered their progress. In addition, views were sought on future aspirations for promotion.


Results indicated gender differences in outcome of promotion, in both proportions of women achieving senior roles, and the time it took for males and females to obtain these promotions with more male middle managers achieving their promotion to senior roles, in less time, than their female colleagues.

Practical implications

The findings were considered in relation to the ongoing career advancement of men and women in management, and in particular, the continuing disproportionate numbers of men and women in senior management roles.


As a follow‐up study, confirms that fewer female managers are being promoted to senior roles despite an obvious desire on their part such promotion and their confidence in obtaining it fairly quickly.



Wood, G. (2006), "Career advancement in Australian middle managers: a follow‐up study", Women in Management Review, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 277-293.

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