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Characteristics of successful women managers and professionals in local government: a national survey

Kato B. Keeton (Kato B. Keeton is MPA Progam Director and associate professor of public administration in the Department of Administration and Justice Studies at the University of West Florida. Her current research focus is the evaluation of HIV/AIDS training programmes and the development of HIV/AIDS training programmes targeted to the specific needs of women)

Women in Management Review

ISSN: 0964-9425

Article publication date: 1 May 1996



Describes a survey of international City/County Management Association female members in professional, mid‐level management, and upperlevel management positions to determine the factors they see as important to their career success. The questionnaire contained measures of three models (human capital, socio‐psychological, systemic) which are cited as explanatory of the success achieved by women. The majority of women, regardless of position in the organization, attribute their success to variables that are within their purview. These include self‐confidence, education, intelligence, competence on the job, hard work, and motivation. Assistance from others such as mentors was seen as important but not a significant factor in career advancement. Measures representing distribution of power and distribution of opportunity (systemic model indicators) were not viewed as being as important to career success as measures representing the human capital and socio‐psychological models. The absence of a perceived importance of measures of the systemic model suggests that the socialization and education of women needs to stress the importance of these indicators in an overall strategy to achieve career goals.



Keeton, K.B. (1996), "Characteristics of successful women managers and professionals in local government: a national survey", Women in Management Review, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 27-34.




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