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Perceived organizational barriers to women's career advancement in Lebanon

Hayfaa Tlaiss (University of New Brunswick, New Brunswick, Canada Institute for Financial Analyst, Beirut, Lebanon)
Saleema Kauser (Manchester Business School, Manchester, UK)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Article publication date: 24 August 2010




The purpose of this paper is to address the research gap on Lebanese female managers and to examine female managers' perceptions of their organizations in relation to women's career progression.


The research was quantitative in nature. A survey questionnaire was used to collect data from 450 female managers. Measures included personal and demographic characteristics, organizational culture, organizational practices, organizational networks, mentoring and role modeling, tokenism, and the usage of wasta.


Descriptive statistics and analysis of variance were used to explain the results. The results reveal that female managers perceive their career progression to be affected by organizational culture, practices, and networks, while mentoring and tokenism were shown to be less critical. In addition, the women in this sample perceived wasta to be a powerful determinant.

Practical implications

The findings contribute to a wider appreciation of the implicit barriers to women's career development and retention, will help organizations engage with the diversity agenda in this region and provide a better understanding of how these companies and their members can make progress, will help inform managerial interventions to make managers better able to make the most of the issues faced, and will help organizations make a much more concerted effort to manage junior female managers through helping them accelerate in their progression and development.


The paper contributes to the limited literature on women in management in Lebanon as well as the Middle Eastern region in general.



Tlaiss, H. and Kauser, S. (2010), "Perceived organizational barriers to women's career advancement in Lebanon", Gender in Management, Vol. 25 No. 6, pp. 462-496.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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