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Article
Publication date: 29 April 2019

Helen Woolnough, Sandra Fielden, Sarah Crozier and Carianne Hunt

The purpose of this paper is to present a longitudinal, qualitative study exploring changes in the attributional constructions of sense-making in the perceptions and lived…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a longitudinal, qualitative study exploring changes in the attributional constructions of sense-making in the perceptions and lived experiences of the glass-ceiling among a cohort of female mental health nurses in the National Health Service who participated in a 12-month multi-faceted career and leadership development pilot programme compared to a matched control group.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors interviewed 27 female mental health nurses in the UK who participated in a multi-faceted development programme specifically designed to support female nurses secure career advancement and 27 members of a matched control group who did not experience the programme. Participants engaged in semi-structured telephone interviews at three separate time points (six months apart) over a 12-month period.

Findings

Programme participants differed in their attributional constructions of sense-making in relation to the glass-ceiling over time compared to the matched control group, e.g., triggering understandings and awakenings and re-evaluating the glass-ceiling above when promoted. Findings are used to theorise about the glass-ceiling as a concept that shifts and changes over time as a function of experience.

Practical implications

Practical implications include important organisational outcomes in relation to fostering the career advancement and retention of talented female leaders at all career stages.

Originality/value

The authors present the first known longitudinal, qualitative study to explore changes in attributional constructions of sense-making in perceptions and experiences of the glass-ceiling among female nurses over time compared to a matched control group.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 November 2019

Carianne M. Hunt, Sandra Fielden and Helen M. Woolnough

The purpose of this study is to explore the potential of coaching to develop female entrepreneurship by overcoming potential barriers. It sought to understand how entrepreneurial…

1269

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the potential of coaching to develop female entrepreneurship by overcoming potential barriers. It sought to understand how entrepreneurial self-efficacy can be applied to development relationships, through on-line coaching, examining changes in the four key elements of entrepreneurial self-efficacy enactive mastery, vicarious experiences, social persuasion and psychological arousal. The study examines the impact of coaching relationships on female entrepreneurial self-efficacy compared to a control group. The participant group was matched with coaches and undertook a structured six months’ coaching programme.

Design/methodology/approach

This was a longitudinal study using a mixed methods approach. Questionnaires investigating entrepreneurial self-efficacy were collected at two time points for both the coaching and control group. After the first time point, the coaching group was supported through a six months coaching development programme. At the second time point, questionnaires were again completed by both groups and qualitative data gather via interviews with the coaching group.

Findings

The findings from this study showed that coaching relationships had a positive impact on coachees’ entrepreneurial self-efficacy, compared to the control group in terms of enactive mastery, vicarious experience, social persuasion and psychological arousal. This suggests that coaching is a development intervention which can be used to enhance self-efficacy beliefs of female entrepreneurs, thereby increasing their chances of engaging in successful business creation and operation.

Research limitations/implications

The group size was a problem, with four of the coaching group and ten of the control group dropping out. The coaching participants left the intervention due to personal reasons but no reason could be established for the control group participants leaving the study. The problem of ‘Type II’ was considered and in an attempt to overcome this problem, data were shown at below 10% (p < 0.10). It would also have been useful to collect more qualitative data from the control group.

Practical implications

An online coaching programme provided by women for women, which is tailored to the individual, can support female entrepreneurs through the difficult stages of start-up and development phases of business development. Creating more successful women owned businesses will not only provide financial benefits, but should help provide additional entrepreneurial networks for women, as well as more positive female role models. Exposure to positive role models has been found to have a direct effect on entrepreneurial self-efficacy. This circular affect should in theory keep on increasing, if female entrepreneurs have access to the tailored support provided by coaching programmes such as the one used here.

Social implications

Considering the current global economic climate, it is increasingly important for women to be supported in small business ownership (Denis, 2012). Countries which actively promote women entering into business ownership will ultimately share the gains in terms of wider issues, i.e. improving education and health, and economic growth (Harding, 2007). If female entrepreneurship is to be encouraged and supported, provision needs to be designed and developed based on female entrepreneurs’ needs and requirements, rather than simply conforming to traditional business support models.

Originality/value

This study contributes to learning and theoretical debates by providing an understanding of female entrepreneurs' needs with regard to business support and how this can be related to and supported by coaching. It also adds to the literature on entrepreneurial self-efficacy, coaching and learning by providing empirical evidence to illustrate how coaching interventions, including the use of online methods, can have a positive impact on female entrepreneurial self-efficacy.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal , vol. 34 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

Helen Woolnough and Jane Redshaw

The purpose of this exploratory qualitative study was to investigate anticipated and real career decisions made by two cohorts of professional women in the UK at differing stages…

1305

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this exploratory qualitative study was to investigate anticipated and real career decisions made by two cohorts of professional women in the UK at differing stages of the lifespan.

Design/methodology/approach

Career decisions made by two cohorts of professional women following the birth of their first child at different stages of the lifespan and satisfaction with these choices in retrospect were investigated. Data analysis followed a thematic approach, and comparisons between the two cohorts were made.

Findings

The study revealed much similarity between the two cohorts. The decisions women make regarding whether to return to work or not and the extent to which they are satisfied with their working arrangements are constrained by similar individual and organisational factors despite the 15-20 year gap.

Research limitations/implications

Although mothers in the UK now experience strengthened legislation concerning maternity benefits and entitlements and there have been advances in flexible working, progress in relation to supporting women in reconciling work and home life when they return to work is arguably limited.

Originality/value

This paper offers insights into the extent to which the career decisions made by professional women following the birth of their first child and satisfaction with these choices in retrospect have changed (or not) among two cohorts of professional women (15-20 years apart). The findings stress the importance of understanding the complex issues faced by mothers in the workforce and providing appropriate organisational support.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Work-Life Inclusion: Broadening Perspectives Across the Life-Course
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80382-219-8

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 5 February 2024

Abstract

Details

Work-Life Inclusion: Broadening Perspectives Across the Life-Course
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80382-219-8

Abstract

Details

Work-Life Inclusion: Broadening Perspectives Across the Life-Course
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80382-219-8

Article
Publication date: 25 February 2014

Helen M. Woolnough and Sandra Lesley Fielden

Literature has shown that mentoring and career development programmes can assist women and minority groups in pursuit of more senior roles. The Challenging Perceptions 12-month…

1308

Abstract

Purpose

Literature has shown that mentoring and career development programmes can assist women and minority groups in pursuit of more senior roles. The Challenging Perceptions 12-month, multi-faceted career development and mentoring programme was specifically designed to aid female mental health participants in their attempts to break the glass ceiling, which can be apparent within senior levels of the UK National Health Service. This study aimed to investigate the effects of a career development and mentoring programme on female mental health nurses' career and personal development compared to a matched comparison group.

Design/methodology/approach

A longitudinal, qualitative study based on semi-structured interviews conducted with female mental health nurse participants and a matched control group at four time points, six months apart over an 18-month period. Female mental health nurses at F, G, H, I and Nurse Consultant Level who applied to participate in the programme were selected by a panel consisting of members of the project team and subsequently randomly allocated a group. Twenty-seven female mental health nurses experienced the programme and 27 female mental health nurses constituted a comparison group.

Findings

Experience as programme participant influenced the career and personal development of participants, particularly compared to the matched control group. Career development outcomes included promotion and additional learning/study. Personal development outcomes included increased self-confidence and increased satisfaction with ability to deliver quality patient care.

Originality/value

Career development and mentoring programmes designed to affect diversity have an important role to play in fostering the career and personal development of nurses in healthcare organisations.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 2006

Sandra L. Fielden, Adel J. Dawe and Helen Woolnough

This study focuses on the factors affecting equality of access to UK government grant and loan initiatives and the identification of gender differences in the uptake of those…

3768

Abstract

Purpose

This study focuses on the factors affecting equality of access to UK government grant and loan initiatives and the identification of gender differences in the uptake of those initiatives.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative methodology was adopted as quantitative data is already available regarding the sources and levels of financing accessed. In total 32 interviews were conducted with 18 women and 14 men seeking business start‐up capital. A review of the advice and assistance offered by 31 business support agencies to potential and existing male and female business clients across the region also was undertaken.

Findings

The findings revealed that there is a discrepancy in the number of men and women business owners accessing grant and loans schemes. Women do not enter into business ownership with the same amount of capital as men, and women are far more likely to access loans and grants than traditional forms of financing.

Research limitations/implications

This is a preliminary investigation which needs to be extended and the relationship between service providers and small business owners further explored to provide a greater understanding of the complexities that relationship has on accessing government grants/loans.

Practical implications

The grant and loan system is highly complex and fraught with difficulties, which appears to exclude women and more specifically those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, i.e. those they were designed to assist.

Originality/value

Previous research has focused on private sector sources of business finance. This study is the first to look specifically at government grant/loan schemes that are targeted at those business owners who experience discrimination accessing traditional forms of finance.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 5 February 2024

Gail Hebson and Clare Mumford

This chapter draws on longitudinal case study research that focused on the experiences of hospitality employees working in a UK university who worked split shifts in the morning…

Abstract

This chapter draws on longitudinal case study research that focused on the experiences of hospitality employees working in a UK university who worked split shifts in the morning and evening while completing NVQ 2 and 3 apprenticeship training. We show how fragmented working time (Rubery, Grimshaw, Hebson, & Ugarte, 2015) rather than long hours led to the apprenticeship training further eroding an already blurred work-life boundary as workers were required to complete training activities in their non-work time which for them is during the middle of the day. We argue current depictions of the positive impact of training and development on low paid workers are decontextualized from the challenges and priorities of workers whose work-life interface is already complex because of working fragmented hours across the day. This is complicated even further by the dynamic and evolving experiences of workers themselves as they experience the highs and lows of combining paid work and training. We situate the research in the context of wider conceptual debates that call for a more inclusive approach to research on the work-life interface (Warren, 2021) and highlight implications for HR practitioners who want to offer such opportunities to low paid workers in sectors such as hospitality, while also recognizing the complex challenges such workers may face.

Details

Work-Life Inclusion: Broadening Perspectives Across the Life-Course
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80382-219-8

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 5 February 2024

Abstract

Details

Work-Life Inclusion: Broadening Perspectives Across the Life-Course
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80382-219-8

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