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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2021

Sabrina Spangsdorf and Alex Forsythe

This paper aims to introduce an identity fit perspective adding to the understanding of the Nordic gender equality paradox of top managing positions using a Danish sample as case.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to introduce an identity fit perspective adding to the understanding of the Nordic gender equality paradox of top managing positions using a Danish sample as case.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, five hypotheses concerning identity perception of top managing positions and the relationship with own identity and type of industry were tested through a correlational research design utilizing a cross-sectional survey methodology. A total of 1,054 women aged 18–60 participated in the survey.

Findings

The analysis revealed a strong masculine perception of a top managing position whereas women's own identity perception was much more diverse. The more masculine a woman perceives herself to be, the more motivated she is to climb the career ladder. Type of industry moderates the relationship between identity fit and motivation for top positions, but only for the masculine traits. The relationship between identity fit and motivation is stronger for women in high masculine industries.

Originality/value

Apart from being the first study of identity fit in a Nordic setting, this study contributes to the identity fit theory by employing a semi-objective fit approach exploring identity fit on an industry level, including female-dominated industries, as well as examining identity fit in relation to motivation to pursue a top managing position.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 26 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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