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Networking: a male dominated game

Maria Socratous (Department of Management and Languages, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Article publication date: 15 January 2018

Issue publication date: 11 April 2018




Using primary data from an online survey in addition to 29 semi-structured interviews among chartered accountants and academics in Cyprus, originally collected for the purposes of a PhD research, this paper aims to investigate the importance of networking with regards to women’s progression in the workplace, as well as the barriers women are faced with in their attempt to “play” the networking game in according to the male rules.


The use of an inductive approach was considered appropriate since there is little existing research on gender issues in Cypriot organisations. For the purposes of the study, a two-step qualitative approach was taken. Step 1 was an online survey with both closed and open-ended questions delivered to employed Cypriot men and women. Step 2 of the study comprised semi-structured, in-depth interviews. The interviews were conducted with specific, preselected employees, both men and women, comprising chartered accountants from the BIG Four companies in Cyprus and academics working at the University of Cyprus.


The research reported in this paper suggests that while there is the perception that men and women share the same opportunities within the workplace and women do not progress by choice, there appear to be various structural and cultural influences at play. It is clear that women are restricted from networking opportunities either intentionally or due to cultural and societal norms and this results in minimising their chances of breaking the glass ceiling and progressing to the top of the organisational ladder.


The research focuses on the impediments women in Cyprus are faced with in their attempt to network. There is no previous research on this subject in Cyprus.



Socratous, M. (2018), "Networking: a male dominated game", Gender in Management, Vol. 33 No. 2, pp. 167-183.



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