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Article

Alison Sheridan

In this paper, women’s representation on public boards in Australia is explored from two perspectives. First, a gender profile of board membership is developed from the…

Abstract

In this paper, women’s representation on public boards in Australia is explored from two perspectives. First, a gender profile of board membership is developed from the public reports submitted to the Australian Stock Exchange. This analysis suggests that in Australia, the majority of public boards comprise only men and where there are women on public boards, they are likely to be the lone woman amongst many men when the board meeting comes to order. Second, women’s own reports of how they accessed and have experienced membership of public boards are explored. What many women suggest is that in accessing boards, it is often the case that it is “who you know not what you know”.

Details

Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

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Article

Alison Sheridan, Linley Lord and Anne Ross-Smith

The purpose of this paper is to identify how board recruitment processes have been impacted by the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) governance changes requiring listed…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify how board recruitment processes have been impacted by the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) governance changes requiring listed boards to report annually on their gender diversity policy and profile.

Design/methodology/approach

Employing a social constructivist approach, the research analyses interviews conducted with matched samples of board directors and stakeholders in 2010 and 2017 about board recruitment in ASX50 companies.

Findings

The introduction of ASX guidelines requiring gender reporting disrupted traditional board appointment processes. Women's gender capital gained currency, adding an additional dimension to the high levels of human and social capital seen as desirable for board appointments. The politics of women's presence is bringing about changes to the discourse and practice about who should/can be a director. The authors identify highly strategic ways in which women's gender capital has been used to agitate for more women to be appointed to boards.

Research limitations/implications

While sample sizes are small, data within the themes cohered meaningfully across the time periods, making visible how women's presence in the board room has been reframed. Future research could consider what this may mean for board dynamics and how enduring are these changes.

Practical implications

This study highlights the forms that human and social capital take in board appointments, which can be instructive for potential directors, and how these intersect with gender capital. The insights from the study are relevant to board recruitment committees seeking to reflect their commitment to a more gender equitable environment.

Originality/value

There has been a recalibration of men's and women's gender capital in board appointments, and there is now a currency in femaleness disrupting the historical privilege afforded “maleness”.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article

Alison Sheridan and Lou Conway

The rapid expansion in part‐time employment in Australia over the past two decades has largely been driven by organisations’ desire to achieve numerical and functional…

Abstract

The rapid expansion in part‐time employment in Australia over the past two decades has largely been driven by organisations’ desire to achieve numerical and functional flexibility (the business case for flexibility) rather than a desire to assist employees balance work and family responsibilities (the equal opportunities case for flexibility). Argues that the differences between the business and equal opportunities discourses surrounding flexibility result in significant problems for both employees and organisations – problems that limit the growth of the individual and the organisation. For part‐time employment to be an effective organisational strategy, it is critical that the human resource management (HRM) role actively negotiate between the different needs of employers and employees. This will entail making both parties’ needs explicit, acknowledging the differences between their needs and directing efforts towards constructing outcomes that are mutually satisfying.

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

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Article

Alison Sheridan

Although affirmative action is often referred to as though it was an homogeneous entity, the reality is that affirmative action policies can take many different forms. To…

Abstract

Although affirmative action is often referred to as though it was an homogeneous entity, the reality is that affirmative action policies can take many different forms. To date, the variety of affirmative action policies that have been implemented in Australia has not been well‐documented. In this paper, a framework is developed to describe the variety of affirmative action policies being implemented in Australia in the 1990s. The most frequently reported policies by Australian organisations concern reviewing employment policies for discriminatory practices. The next most commonly reported policies relate to companies’ efforts to assist employees to balance the competing roles of work and family. Policies that seek to challenge traditional patterns of employment, and policies that seek to “fix” women are less commonly reported by organisations. The breaking down of affirmative action into various types of policies provides scope for more fully exploring the question of the effectiveness of affirmative action policies.

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 13 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

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Article

Jennifer Rindfleish and Alison Sheridan

The gendered nature of organizations has now been well established by feminist researchers. In particular, the most senior levels of management have been identified as…

Abstract

The gendered nature of organizations has now been well established by feminist researchers. In particular, the most senior levels of management have been identified as sites of hegemonic masculinity; the causes of which are complex, socially reproduced inter‐relationships that are highly resistant to change. While it has been argued that these structures will become less problematic as more women enter the paid workforce and more move into senior management, in this paper this argument is challenged. Recent research by the authors concerning women in the most senior ranks of management in the private sector in Australia suggests that, while the majority of these women identify the need for change, they have not used their role in senior management as a means of challenging gendered structures. The implications of the findings are that it is invalid to assume that change will come about through increasing numbers of women in management. Other means of challenging gendered organizational structures must be implemented, if quantifiable change is to come about.

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 18 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

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Article

Jane O’Sullivan and Alison Sheridan

Popular representations of the workplace have tended to construct women as unsuited to management and leadership roles. In their reflective capacity these popular…

Abstract

Popular representations of the workplace have tended to construct women as unsuited to management and leadership roles. In their reflective capacity these popular fictional texts illustrate the workplace. In their capacity to construct popular perceptions of “reality”, the texts offer an important insight into women’s and men’s understandings and expectations of their workplace relationships. In this article we reflect on how popular films, plays and television shows can make visible some manifestations of the kinds of resistance women continue to experience in non‐traditional domains such as management. While these kinds of texts have not been central to the analysis of workplace relations within the management literature, we argue that as social documents they have much to contribute to an understanding of the limited advancement of women.

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

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Article

Alison Sheridan and Jane O'Sullivan

This paper aims to demonstrate how close analysis of cultural narratives can be employed as effective pedagogical tools in the explication and critique of specific…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to demonstrate how close analysis of cultural narratives can be employed as effective pedagogical tools in the explication and critique of specific workplace issues relevant to health management education.

Design/methodology/approach

Two narratives have been selected to illustrate this point: the apparently “fictional” UK-based medical television drama series Bodies (2005-2006) and the apparently “factual” report of an Australian state government public inquiry into acute health care, the Garling Report.

Findings

Through their demonstration of how analyses of selected segments of these texts can be used in health management education, the authors conclude that the comparative analyses of ostensibly “fictional” and “factual” narratives allow for analysis and critique of the inadequacies of new public management (NPM) applied to the health care industry, leading to a greater understanding of wider ideological effects on public perceptions.

Practical implications

The authors argue that these understandings enliven students' learning experiences, and that such comparative analyses should be applied more widely across health management education to develop students' critical skills and openness to exploring alternative models.

Originality/value

Comparative analysis of cultural texts is novel in health care education, and allows for the interrogation of ideology and its effects.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

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Book part

Sujana Adapa, Subba Reddy Yarram and Alison Sheridan

The overarching aim of this chapter is to explore the existing status of mentoring in accounting firms in India and Malaysia, to understand whether or not mentoring is…

Abstract

The overarching aim of this chapter is to explore the existing status of mentoring in accounting firms in India and Malaysia, to understand whether or not mentoring is gendered in these country contexts, and to investigate the impact of the size of the firm and country context on mentoring. The mentoring framework is used as a theoretical lens to understand the orientation of principals and partners towards the existing and future mentoring support and activities of micro-sized, small-sized, medium-sized, and family-owned accounting firms operating in both India and Malaysia. Data obtained from 40 in-depth interviews (n = 20 in India and n = 20 in Malaysia) are analyzed using qualitative data analysis software NVivo12. The findings obtained from the study indicate that mentoring support exists informally in accounting firms, mentoring support offered and mentoring activities undertaken are gendered, and the nature, extent and type of mentoring offered in accounting firms varies according to the size of the firm in both countries. The chapter presents important practical, theoretical and methodological implications of the study for avoiding gendered mentoring practices in accounting firms.

Details

Mentorship-driven Talent Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-691-5

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Article

Alison Sheridan

While women have continued to increase their representation in the paid workforce, their representation in the most senior ranks of management in Australia remains very…

Abstract

While women have continued to increase their representation in the paid workforce, their representation in the most senior ranks of management in Australia remains very low. In this paper, the backgrounds and experiences of women board members of publicly‐listed companies in Australia are explored to identify the factors they perceive as important to their nomination and selection to boards. It seems that these “successful” women have overcome the resistance to including women on boards by not only being well‐educated and able to demonstrate a strong track record in their field to be nominated to a board position, but also having valuable business contacts. For women seeking to access this most privileged level of management, the importance of networks should not be overlooked.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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Article

Alison Sheridan and Gina Milgate

While women have continued to increase their representation in the paid workforce, their representation on corporate boards in Australia remains very low. In this paper…

Abstract

While women have continued to increase their representation in the paid workforce, their representation on corporate boards in Australia remains very low. In this paper, the views of men and women board members of publicly‐listed companies in Australia concerning the adequacy of the composition of boards and the factors contributing to women’s low representation are explored and contrasted. It seems that these “successful” men and women have significantly different views on the benefits of homogeneity or diversity of board membership. While the men believe the current composition is generally adequate, the women are concerned about the lack of diversity of board membership. These findings are considered in the context of existing work on masculinity and identity politics that suggest that those who are part of the hegemonic group do not question the structures that sustain that hegemony.

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

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