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Generation X women in high technology: Overcoming gender and generational challenges to succeed in the corporate environment

Ann Feyerherm (Pepperdine University, Irvine, California, USA)
Yvonne H. Vick (Embla5, LLC, Rolling Hills Estates, California, USA)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 1 May 2005




Seeks to undertake research of Generation X women in high technology in order to determine what type of corporate environment would support their needs for professional success, personal fulfillment, and sustain longer‐term employment.


This qualitative study looked at high‐potential Generation X women (born between 1965‐1980) within the high‐technology industry and explored their relationship with work which means how they interact with bosses, peers, subordinates, and the corporate culture.


The study found that, for Generation X women, personal fulfillment was intrinsically connected to professional success, and that they wanted support from their companies in terms of mentors for guidance and development, opportunities to excel, recognition for efforts, relationships, and flexibility to achieve work/life balance.

Research limitations/implications

The sample size was small and, while the research applies to the high‐technology industry, care would need to be taken in wholesale application to all industries. The way Generation X women perceive the importance of work/life balance carries implications for corporations in terms of training, development, promotional practices and corporate culture.


If companies can provide a cultural environment to support attainment of professional success and personal fulfillment as defined by these women, it may provide a link to longer‐term employment, reduced employee turnover, and improved bottom line corporate performance.



Feyerherm, A. and Vick, Y.H. (2005), "Generation X women in high technology: Overcoming gender and generational challenges to succeed in the corporate environment", Career Development International, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 216-227.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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