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Advancing women's careers

Ronald Burke (Schulich School of Business, York University, York, UK)
Susan Vinnicombe (Centre for Women Business Leaders, Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield, UK)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 1 May 2005




This collection seeks to examine the various challenges women face in advancing their careers.


In the mid‐1980s, the phrase “glass ceiling” was coined and has since become an established part of our vocabulary. The glass ceiling refers to an invisible but impermeable barrier that limits the career advancement of women. During the last two decades, women have made progress: there are now more women in senior‐level executive jobs, more women in “clout jobs”, more women CEOs, and more women on corporate boards of directors. But real progress has been slow with only modest increases shown at these levels.


The slow progress made by talented, educated, ambitious women is now having some negative effects on women's views of management and the professions as a career. However, artificially limiting the career possibilities of women is a luxury organizations can no longer afford. Organizations are facing an impending shortage of qualified leaders. The aging of the workforce, a smaller number of new workforce entrants, and the war for talent, makes it imperative that organizations utilize and develop the talents of all their employees.


This collection examines the various challenges women face in their careers. The contributors come from a number of different countries, indicating the widespread interest in this topic in all developed and developing countries.



Burke, R. and Vinnicombe, S. (2005), "Advancing women's careers", Career Development International, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 165-167.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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