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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2000

Leonie V. Still and Wendy Timms

Women’s participation in the small business sector is a growing phenomenon worldwide. While considerable research has been conducted into the reasons why women enter small…

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Abstract

Women’s participation in the small business sector is a growing phenomenon worldwide. While considerable research has been conducted into the reasons why women enter small business and their penchant for operating solo operations or micro businesses (up to five employees) less is known about the heterogeneous nature of women in small business and the reasons behind their “failure” to “grow” their businesses. The research reported here concerns a major study into the status of women in small business in Australia. Apart from examining barriers which may prevent women from expanding their businesses the findings address a new paradigm of women in small business. This paradigm captures the multiple trajectories that women follow in their businesses the type of businesses that they operate and their relation to the stages of a woman’s/business life cycle. The findings hold important implications for policy makers who are attempting to devise programmes to assist this growing segment of the small business sector.

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Women in Management Review, vol. 15 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1993

Leonie V. Still

Two research studies, conducted in 1984 and 1992 respectively,examined the position of women in management within the Australianprivate sector to determine if women had…

Abstract

Two research studies, conducted in 1984 and 1992 respectively, examined the position of women in management within the Australian private sector to determine if women had made occupational progress or, like some other groups, had regressed or just maintained a status quo position. The results revealed that women had not improved their position in management over the nine‐year period. While there were more women in supervisory positions, there were fewer women in all levels of management. Some shifts had been made by the women in their management functional areas‐that is a movement out of “soft” management areas and into more mainstream areas, while women were also being given more opportunities to attend both internal and external training programmes sponsored by their organizations. However, women managers had still not achieved pay parity, while fewer women were receiving promotion to management or within management compared with 1984. Nor were any major improvements seen in the numbers of women being sent on “élite” management training programmes. The research concluded that women′s progress in management was “stalled” within these Australian companies. Women had two options, if they wished to achieve the ultimate in their careers. They could leave and open their own business, but risk further marginalization owing to the nature of their self‐employment. Or they could stay and attempt to change the organizational culture by enlisting the support of other managerial women as well as policy makers. A “renaissance” in both policy and strategy is needed, if Australian managerial women are going to achieve their full potential within the Australian commercial and corporate sector.

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Women in Management Review, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1992

Leonie V. Still

Women′s progress up the corporate ladder is still limited by a“glass ceiling” despite the myriad of Government policiesand programmes which have been introduced to ensure…

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Abstract

Women′s progress up the corporate ladder is still limited by a “glass ceiling” despite the myriad of Government policies and programmes which have been introduced to ensure that their talents and skills are recognised. Reviews the reasons for this existence of the “glass ceiling” and the role managerial women may have played (consciously or unconsciously) in sustaining it by having inappropriate qualifications and experience for the top positions. Women can help themselves to overcome this career hurdle by: acquiring appropriate business skills and know how; taking up line‐management positions rather than management service roles; gaining the necessary experience through “apprenticeship” and “acting positions”; seeking career counselling; volunteering for leadership and executive positions; and acquiring the ability to measure their operating effectiveness in the workplace. Women also need to be aware of the emergence of new barriers to their progress. The current socio‐economic situation is creating different “glass ceilings” in the form of the downsizing of organizations, new differentiated and self‐directed career paths, the advent of the contractual worker, and the care of aged parents.

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Women in Management Review, vol. 7 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1991

Leonie V. Still and Cecily D. Guerin

Self‐employment makes an important contribution to a nation′seconomy, women are turning to it in increasing numbers but still facehurdles in their quest for independence…

Abstract

Self‐employment makes an important contribution to a nation′s economy, women are turning to it in increasing numbers but still face hurdles in their quest for independence, autonomy and job satisfaction. An Australian survey by questionnaire (commissioned in Sydney by the New South Wales Women′s Advisory Council) of 357 self‐employed women revealed that they faced three types of barriers: entry, operational and personal. Entry barriers revolved around confidence to start the business, necessary start‐up finance, and adequate sources of assistance and advice. Operational barriers concerned finance, lack of assistance and advice, lack of skills in marketing and finance, and assistance in developing business. Personal problems were sense of isolation, lack of mentors, tutors or counsellors, need for support of other businesses (especially suppliers) and colleagues, managing a home and a business, self‐management, and child care. Recommendations are made for a phased system of support services related to style, stage and needs of individual small business proprietors.

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

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2006

Leonie V. Still and Elizabeth A. Walker

To conduct the first national study in Australia of women in small‐ to medium‐sized enterprises, and to develop a profile of the self‐employed woman and her business to…

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Abstract

Purpose

To conduct the first national study in Australia of women in small‐ to medium‐sized enterprises, and to develop a profile of the self‐employed woman and her business to serve as a benchmark for follow‐up research.

Design/methodology/approach

Comprised a self‐administered questionnaire which dealt with a broad range of issues concerning the start‐up and operational aspects of a small to medium‐sized business. The women participants were self‐selected and were obtained through mail‐outs to business and professional networks, and a nation‐wide advertising campaign. Three focus groups were also held to provide more background on some of the findings from the survey.

Findings

The study found a consistency in the characteristics of the women and their businesses, similar to those found at the localised level. A benchmark profile of both the Australian small business woman operator and her business was established.

Originality/value

Is the first national Australian study, and provides a benchmark for later studies in the same area.

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1987

Leonie V. Still and Cecily Guerin

Networking is increasingly important to women as their careers advance in a wide range of professions and occupations. However, while they are aware of its benefits, an…

Abstract

Networking is increasingly important to women as their careers advance in a wide range of professions and occupations. However, while they are aware of its benefits, an Australian study reveals differences between men and women executives in the way they network. Men emerge as better at networking in the business, professional, and social environments. The study suggests that women could improve their skills by observing male strategies. While women's networks are of great assistance, women could benefit even more if they had more experience in the men's version of the networking game.

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Women in Management Review, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2006

Leonie V. Still

The purpose of this paper is to review the current representational position of women in leadership in Australia, using management and board appointments as the relevant domains.

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8026

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the current representational position of women in leadership in Australia, using management and board appointments as the relevant domains.

Design/methodology/approach

Uses past and current official government statistics as the source of information.

Findings

The review reveals that despite 30 years of considerable legislative, policy and social change in the equity area, women have not attained leadership positions in any significant numbers in Australia. Their position vis‐à‐vis women in other developed countries is also not at the cutting‐edge. There is no one reason as to why this is so, although a lack of line management and profit centre experience is currently being touted as a major drawback. The paper suggests that other factors, such as Australia's “macho” culture and lack of acceptance of women as leaders, women's ways of communicating in the workplace, overall changes in the workplace, and generational change, also need discussion and debate. The paper recommends that governments, both Federal and State, re‐engage in the equity area for further progress to take place in women's representation in leadership. Otherwise, women's leadership representation may continue to have low penetration in the workplace.

Originality/value

Gives a current snapshot of women's leadership status in Australia, a fact not well known or understood by women probably because of newer emphasis on “work and family” policies.

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1991

Leonie V. Still and Cecily D. Guerin

In recent years women have made considerable progress in managementand self‐employment. However, there has been little attempt to develop acareer development perspective…

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561

Abstract

In recent years women have made considerable progress in management and self‐employment. However, there has been little attempt to develop a career development perspective of women which may assist their further advance in the workforce or to help them overcome inhibiting factors preventing them from achieving career goals. Two Australian studies suggest that managerial women reveal a number of career patterns depending on whether they are organisationally or entrepreneurially inclined. For instance, organisational (enterprise) women managers can be divided into self‐made and professional groupings, with further distinguishing career patterns. Entrepreneurial/self‐employed women exhibit another variety of career patterns according to the nature of the business entity they have chosen to operate. The results suggest that there is great heterogeneity in the range of managerial careers for women, and that this heterogeneity has more to do with contextual factors than gender‐specific issues.

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International Journal of Career Management, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-6214

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2000

Patricia Todd and Delys Bird

Studies and analyses changes to the promotion policies and practices at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and identifies outcomes by gender. Suggests that there…

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1148

Abstract

Studies and analyses changes to the promotion policies and practices at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and identifies outcomes by gender. Suggests that there are quite a few factors to be addressed before gender equity in academia at UWA is obtained. Discusses, in depth, how to try to deal with lack of networks, socialization, the dual‐role burden, masculine organizational culture and gendered power imbalance in the workplace. States that, although great inroads have been made at UWA, statistics show that there are still very fundamental barriers to be addressed to aid further improvement for women academics.

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Equal Opportunities International, vol. 19 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1994

Leonie V. Still

There is growing evidence in Australia that cultural factors are thefinal impediment to women′s progress into senior management. Examinesthe “cultural dilemma” that women…

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2367

Abstract

There is growing evidence in Australia that cultural factors are the final impediment to women′s progress into senior management. Examines the “cultural dilemma” that women managers present from organizational, managerial and personal perspectives. It is felt that women can assist their situation by altering their mode of operation from a “victim” mentality to one of a “power” mentality: by making up their minds whether they want to “share” power or get the male managerial culture to “yield” power; by making a concerted effort to close the nexus on the economic front; by educating chief executive officers as to imperative for cultural change; and by both using and supporting various government agencies and Equal Employment Opportunity Officers.

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

Keywords

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