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A better career environment for women: developing a blueprint for individuals and organisations

Viki Holton (Ashridge Business School, Berkhamsted, UK)
Fiona Elsa Dent (Ashridge Business School, Berkhamsted, UK)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Article publication date: 1 November 2016




The purpose of this paper is to explore the findings from empirical research conducted with women managers about their careers and to propose a template or blueprint for how individuals and organisations might create a better career environment for women.


This paper draws on a research study that included interviews with 20 senior women managers from a range of sectors and countries and a self-completion survey questionnaire completed by 1,402 women.


The paper illustrates the difficulties that women continue to face in the workplace and how terms such as leadership, management and team leader may be gender biased. There is a need for employers and for individuals to consider a variety of different approaches to help create a more positive career environment for women.

Research limitations/implications

The findings have implications for career development structures and talent management processes within organisations. They also would be useful for professional associations.

Practical implications

The template proposed offers a useful guide to help organisations reflect on possible gender bias in career development structures.


This paper adds to the understanding of the issues that women managers face and highlight the practical changes employers could make to help address these issues.



Holton, V. and Dent, F.E. (2016), "A better career environment for women: developing a blueprint for individuals and organisations", Gender in Management, Vol. 31 No. 8, pp. 542-561.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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