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Career progress and career barriers: women MBA graduates in Canada and the UK

Ruth Simpson (School of Business and Management, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK)
Jane Sturges (Kings College, London, UK)
Adrian Woods (School of Business and Management, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK)
Yochanan Altman (London Metropolitan University, London, UK)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 1 August 2004

Abstract

This article explores the career progress of female MBA graduates in Canada and the UK and the nature of career barriers experienced in each context. Results suggest that while Canadian women have similar career profiles to men, women in the UK lag behind their male counterparts after graduation from the course. At the same time, UK women encounter more intractable career barriers in the form of negative attitudes and prejudice. A model of the “MBA effect” is proposed in terms of how the qualification may impact on career barriers. This incorporates three different types of barriers which are seen to operate at the individual level (person centred barriers) and at the intermediate/organizational level (organizational culture and attitudes, corporate practices) as well as, at the macro level, the impact of legislative frameworks. Results from the UK and Canadian surveys are discussed in relation to this model and in the context of feminist theory and women in management literature.

Keywords

Citation

Simpson, R., Sturges, J., Woods, A. and Altman, Y. (2004), "Career progress and career barriers: women MBA graduates in Canada and the UK", Career Development International, Vol. 9 No. 5, pp. 459-477. https://doi.org/10.1108/13620430410550736

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited