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The impact of gender, family, and work on the career advancement of Lebanese women managers

Hayfaa Tlaiss (University of New Brunswick Saint John (UNBSJ), Saint John, Canada)
Saleema Kauser (Manchester Business School, Manchester, UK)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Article publication date: 15 February 2011




The purpose of this paper is to address the research gap on Lebanese women managers and to demonstrate how gender, work, and family factors influence the career advancement of women managers.


The research is qualitative in nature. A total of 32 in‐depth face‐to face interviews were conducted with 32 women managers.


Interview data reveal that Lebanese women managers do not perceive gender‐centered factors as obstacles to career advancement. The women in the study used different terms to describe the impact of gender, work, and family factors on their career progression to those found in existing literature. Their responsibilities towards their families were not perceived as barriers hindering their career progress. In addition, their personality traits, aspirations for management, levels of educational attainment and work experience, and family‐related factors were also not perceived as inhibiting their careers.

Practical implications

The paper provides new practical insights into the relationships and the interconnections between Arab society, women, and their managerial careers. A strong theme is the significant role of Wasta, the reliance and dependence on social connections versus personal education and achievements to achieve career progress, in enhancing career progression and how gender is less of a criterion in the presence of Wasta.


This paper contributes to the limited knowledge about women and management in Lebanon, as well as the Middle Eastern region in general.



Tlaiss, H. and Kauser, S. (2011), "The impact of gender, family, and work on the career advancement of Lebanese women managers", Gender in Management, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 8-36.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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