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Women managers, leaders and the media gaze: Learning from popular culture, autobiographies, broadcast and media press

Sharon Anne Mavin (Roehampton Business School, Roehampton University, London, UK)
Carole Elliott (Roehampton Business School, Roehampton University, London, UK)
Valerie Stead (Lancaster University Management School, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK)
Jannine Williams (School of Management, University of Bradford, Bradford, UK)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Article publication date: 4 July 2016

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this special issue is to extend the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC)-funded UK seminar series–Challenging Gendered Media (Mis)Representations of Women Professionals and Leaders; and to highlight research into the gendered media constructions of women managers and leaders and outline effective methods and methodologies into diverse media.

Design/methodology/approach

Gendered analysis of television, autobiographies (of Sheryl Sandberg, Karren Brady, Hillary Clinton and Julia Gillard), broadcast news media and media press through critical discourse analysis, thematic analysis, metaphor and computer-aided text analysis software following the format of the Gender Media Monitoring Project (2015) and [critical] ecological framework for advancing social change.

Findings

The papers surface the gendered nature of media constructions of women managers and leaders and offer methods and methodologies for others to follow to interrogate gendered media. Further, the papers discuss – how women’s leadership is glamourized, fetishized and sexualized; the embodiment of leadership for women; how popular culture can subvert the dominant gaze; how women use agency and how powerful gendered norms shape perceptions, discourses and norms and how these are resisted, repudiated and represented.

Practical implications

The papers focus upon how the media constructs women managers and leaders and offer implications of how media influences and is influenced by practice. There are recommendations provided as to how the media could itself be organized differently to reflect diverse audiences, and what can be done to challenge gendered media.

Social implications

Challenging gendered media representations of women managers and leaders is critical to social justice and equality for women in management and leadership.

Originality/value

This is an invited Special Issue comprising inaugural collection of research through which we get to “see” women and leaders and the gendered media gaze and to learn from research into popular culture through analysis of television, autobiographies and media press.

Keywords

Citation

Mavin, S.A., Elliott, C., Stead, V. and Williams, J. (2016), "Women managers, leaders and the media gaze: Learning from popular culture, autobiographies, broadcast and media press", Gender in Management, Vol. 31 No. 5/6, pp. 314-321. https://doi.org/10.1108/GM-05-2016-0105

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited