Obstructing Career Advancement For Women Within Organisations Criminology Essay

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There has been a significant number of discussions during the past decade regarding the advantages of diversity management initiatives and equal opportunity for undertaking sex discrimination in companies. This report will draw upon a broad range of case studies, research, literature and statistics mainly from the United Kingdom to explore the barriers of females' development to the higher senior management levels. This report has five main topics: "Travellers in a male world", "Double role", "Females limit themselves", "Glass ceiling" and "Opposite opinions" although to deeply analyse these core topics the text will look at several aspects such as the effects of employment gaps, redefined labour conditions and the absence of organisational understanding. Several important questions regarding the limitations of females will be also answered throughout the report such as, why the majority of career progress models have been built on the experiences of males and why females are more likely than males to have: career breaks; take part time jobs; begin their careers later, and so on. The paper concludes by arguing the possibilities of diversity, and highlights areas for further research.

Thomas and Pullen (2000, p. 1) claims that research regarding business and administration is nearly entirely from a not sexually biased point of view however they emphasise that concerns regarding the absence of gender awareness is not new. Hearn (1994, p. 195) disputes that the management concept has had a tendency to disregard gender matters during the 20th century. He notes that it is really astonishing how males' have complete control over management. He explains that the outcome of this control over management as being a male model is because female executives do not belong to alien ground; ''travellers in a male world'' (Marshall, 1984, quoted in Wajcman, 1998, p. 50). The paradigm of accomplished executives has historically existed as a male model, and as long as this oversimplified conception of women persists; man will succeed in preserving for themselves, the superior status in organisations. This superiority over management as being a male model is unmistakable, equally in the foundation of the concept as well as the genuine experience of professional development in executive levels. Indeed, females' professional progress does not only fall back from male standards but may progress in an entirely different fashion (Larwood and Gutek, 1987), up till now merely a small number of career models try to investigate females' different life experiences (Still and Timms, 1998). In relation to career in practice and theory there are two significant matters to deliberate; first of all the standard organisational outline of education, professional progress, and retirement, is built upon the general professional lifestyles of males, and secondly there is no standard organisational outline aimed at modern non-traditional females. On the other hand, organisations and society carry on forcing females to fit into this traditional male stereotype (Flanders, 1994). It is obvious, that as long as the traditional male professional development paradigms and methodologies continue, females will carry on stepping off the fast track to encounter household duties, women will remain having further difficulties unlike their male rivals in career development, as the career model is presently designed in corporations (Rix and Stone, 1984).

Still and Timms (1998) highlight that over the previous few years, the rising significance of the work in the lives of females, has been one of their most important social modifications. A study supports that work is mainly important for educated females within professions (Levinson and Levinson, 1996; Reeves and Darville, 1994), although work could have an altered sense for career females in comparison to career males (Holahan, 1994). Although they have looked at and tested this relatively narrow theory of professional development (Allred et al., 1996; Arthur and Rousseau, 1996; Brousseau et al., 1996; Hall, 1996), the historically male career paradigm has remained the same generally accepted standard for determining professional development in corporations.

The word "Career" is traditionally understood as a systematic series of advancements, ranging over a certain length of time and the introduction of increasingly more responsible positions inside a profession. The typical career progress models have a tendency to define "stage" or "linear" development career paths, where the person travels in a predictable, systematic fashion over a chain of associated positions and each one gains him/her greater status and financial compensation (O'Leary, 1997). Females are more likely, in preference to males, to have a need for a position that allows them flexibility; for example career disruptions such as having kids or taking care of senior relatives and this seems to be generally overlooked in such career models (Flanders, 1994). Therefore relationships outside of work represent a vital and powerful part in many professional judgments that females make (Larwood and Gutek, 1987). Cox (1996) strengthens this understanding when stating, ''as women we too often fail to recognise that our feelings of discomfort or feelings of inadequacy come from behavioural definitions made within masculine paradigms''. For that reason, once females start to view their professional priorities, motivations and accomplishments from within a female's professional progress framework, their feelings of non-satisfaction can be recognised for what these factors are, the outcome of observing and assessing themselves through the lens of a masculine model (O'Leary, 1997).

Historically, females have had fewer systematic professional developments due to the fact that women have a tendency to follow their partners' career paths; females have had household, family duties also they may have been exposed to discriminating male supervisors' prejudgment (Marshall, 1984). In the past, females were required to adjust to limited prospects by means of getting a job instead of a professional development focused occupation and to emphasize on the instantaneous benefits instead of longer-term rewards (Marshall, 1984; Henning and Jardim, 1977). The work of Larwood and Gutek (1987) show two main concerns which still split males and females in terms of professional development. First of all females are believed to feel the tug of other possibilities, for example the researchers' propose that, when females discover that their professional life has begun early, these women might choose to take a break from work and have a family; something which males have less possibility for, they note. The second main concern is more realistically reflected, and that is the discrimination females' face, which leads to less job openings and in turn, slower development, making other possibilities more welcoming. The classic prejudgments, which reflect the speculation that females are not as dedicated to their jobs as their male colleagues and far less capable to take on a full-time career; still exist. When it comes to promotion and career progress, having an option between a male and a female with identical experiences, firms would often look at the female as the greater risk. Since females are often not evaluated on the talents and accomplishments that they have, but rather on suppositions around their personal lifestyle, duties as well as forthcoming aims. Males are treated as employees rather than fathers; but females are continuously seen as parents (Flanders, 1994).

This paradigm deals with the position of females in occupation like it's different from a masculine norm. As a result, by definition, females alone struggle between professional and personal roles (Wajcman, 1998, p. 38). Lewis and Cooper (1988) noted that a mutual experience of several working females is the struggle between the professional and personal life (family, kids). They said that an excessive amount of females encounter tension concerning their capability to be a mother, wife as well as an employee at the same time. [see note in email!!] Females are frequently required to make a decision between professional advancement and personal steadiness in the household, or to have children at all. Even the current configurations of businesses are frequently operating against preserving simultaneous professional and personal roles, and as females are yet the core caring characters, they are the ones who are underprivileged by the previously mentioned configurations (Mavin, 1999). An individual's marital status also appears to play a role in professional advancement. Kelly and Marin (1998) highlight that organisations look less favourably at wedded females at the time of promotional opportunities, and in addition, wedded females themselves do not expect promotions as much as single women do. The authors discuss that above marital status, as a woman's rank rises, the possibility of separation also rises, demonstrating that struggle over domestic and professional duties along with the wife's probable career transmissions. This is often referred to as difficulties in the marriages of career females. The above mentioned theory has been verified by Burke and McKeen (1994), who have stated that the females in their research, who succeeded to advance their career beside traditional masculine routes, accumulated larger economic benefits and career fulfilment than females whose progress was riddled by disruptions. For all intents and purposes, Wajcman (1998, p. 105) claims that the shape of the corporate career is ultimately gender-based. Firstly, the traditional professional development model is established upon a gendered agreement that backs up the masculine stages of development. Family men are the exemplary workers in executive positions, and on the other hand mothers are seen as much less suitable for such positions. This has been demonstrated by family-friendly policies, which have been focused on females only and, consequently the policies did not interrupt the masculine models or the male norms of executive. As a result, these sorts of policies might strengthen the gender-based agreement by means of handling females as an issue. Secondly, the consequence of gender-based structural development is that it will disregard females and eventually eliminate them from the majority of management positions. Since males continue to define the job of executive, in spite of the fact that many females gave up having a child, in addition to the fact that all females are continuously constructed as "different" in the workplace (Wajcman, 1998, p. 106).

White (1995) makes a statement of opinion regarding her research of accomplished females (the research was established mainly on the professional progress of young females) regardless of their professions, accomplished females in the research went over particular ''life stages'' and presented strong loyalty to their professional life. These are established on the choice of whether or not they wanted to have kids, and then the timing difficulties associated with being a mother and/or maintaining a professional life. Hakim's preference philosophy, is one of the most recognised, comprehensive and influential philosophies of how "decision" establishes itself in the professional choices of females. He clearly presents how "decision" within the settings of work and household duties is not necessarily a "one or the other" condition that is either family or career. It is more about what females struggle with; fighting to create an acceptable "this and that" set of conditions. The decision that females make in management and in organisation to give birth continues to be seen negatively in corporations as well as within the society. White (1995) argues that her paradigm of accomplished a females' lifetime progression demonstrates that the majority of accomplished females presented strong professional focus. The subjects were employed uninterruptedly and full time, fitting their family duties around their career (therefore taking the risk of becoming ''super-woman'' and the social guiltiness accompanying this title) or decide to stay childless. Uninterrupted full time work seems to be a precondition for professional victory and, if females are to reach honest equivalence in corporations, then modification is essential in the fundamental stereotype of a successful career. Regarding females' professional development theories, O'Leary (1997) highlights the alterations among males and females in relation to career are emphasised when one observes different measures of professional accomplishment. Numerous sources indicate a tendency for males to employ objective measures; for example status, promotion or income. On the other hand, females seem to measure success equally in personal and professional arenas based on subjective measures rather than impartial for example professional and/or personal fulfilment, perceived quality or sense of progress and growth (Powell and Mainiero, 1992; White et al.1992). Comparative advancement researches of women and man executives also point toward the fact that female executives are not yet as likely to apply for career advancement opportunities as their male colleagues (Still, 1994). Shambaugh (2007) supports this theory by commenting: "Forget the old boys' club: women are the ones holding themselves back from top-level career success. … Women are more likely than men to shy away from leadership roles, to get bogged down in perfectionism and to avoid career-boosting changes out of a misplaced sense of loyalty." Prof. Dr. Hulya Tutek (Vice Department Chair of Department of International Trade and Financing of Izmir Economy University) believes that this is also due to the fact that women's bodies excrete an enzyme which prevents them from taking risks; therefore it seems that women prefer to stay in safe and comforting grounds. Still (1994) states that there is evidence suggesting that females tend to favour and to practice lateral instead of vertical professional development paths. This is mostly because, as it has been mentioned, females place personal job pleasure before professional goals, control and benefits.

Females have grown into big players in the United Kingdom's economy partially because of firmly established modifications trough the previous half century. Females currently make up the greater part of the voting public and will shortly form the greater part of the workforce, even though most organisations from the Government to large corporations have yet to get used to this modern reality (Wilkinson and Howard, 1997). It is obvious that females are increasingly making their way to the halls of control and at the moment there are more females who are chief executive officers of corporations and being a part of the of board of directors of first class organisations, than any previous time (Holton et al., 1993). Well-taught groups of females have profited the most from this development and their progress within the occupations seems practically irreversible (Henley Centre, 1996). Undeniably, women's employment rates are quickly increasing; at the beginning of 1971, females were employed at the rate of 56%, however by December 2008 women a rate of around 70% were employed (Institute of Economic Research, 1994). In the previous two decades there has been a significant rise in the number of females who are aiming executive and specialized jobs as well as long term professional development (Davidson and Cooper, 1992; 1993). Several of these females got ready for the professional life by undertaking higher education, where they at the moment make up nearly 50 per cent of all graduates of universities, for example in enterpriser, finance and law. Therefore it would seem like that the barrier between men and women has disappeared; however a study suggests that the above mentioned female graduates go into the labour market at proportions equivalent to their male rivals and with similar qualifications and hopes but it appears that females' and males' business career paths and experience start to separate shortly after that point (Morrison et al., 1987). It is obvious that, even though professional and managerial females are just as well trained and educated as their male colleagues and are being employed by corporations in about the same quantities, they are not entering the levels of senior executive at equal proportions (Davidson and Burke, 1994). Females are getting the required skills but yet run into a glass ceiling (Morrison and Von Glinow, 1990). The glass ceiling theory has first appeared in 1986 in a Wall Street Journal Article written by Journalists Carol Hymowitz and Timothy Schellhardt (McGuire, D., Dr. 2011).

The circumstances at the moment indicate that, despite the fact that females are more skilled and enthusiastic to go into corporations (which seem to be capable to successfully gathering and employing talented females); corporations have trouble in keeping and developing managerial females and progressing them into the levels of senior executives. The glass ceiling that females' run into refers to a delicate, nearly undetectable, however solid, wall that stops females from progressing into senior positions (Davidson and Burke, 1994). Overall, those holding this sort of stereotypical understanding are likely to recognise females as unproductive leaders and managers in positions incongruent with females' more historical passive gender role (Ferrario, 1991). Davidson and Burke (1994) provide clarifications as to why the glass ceiling in corporations has stayed strong and held most females from executive heights of the corporate ladder. These include males' and females' differences; relying on females missing the necessary behaviours, attitudes, education, skills etc., for professional and managerial positions, and the prejudgment, stereotyping and discrimination of females as managers. An additional clarification highlights organisational and methodical discrimination, as revealed in structural rules and methods which affect the management of females and limit their development. These practices and rules include females' absence of prospects and control in corporations, the present gender ratio of groups, hypocrisy, the absence of sponsors and mentors and the refutation of access to important and exciting projects. The absence of proper structural methods to professional development, experience and progression for females can be also included in this clarification. These conditions persist even though the Equality Act protects discrimination against gender.

In the United Kingdom, females have made a lot of progress in the previous two decades by means of solid progresses at work in organisation, in occupations and an ongoing spread of feminist values throughout the population. Nowadays a strong corporate case can be made for expanding females' involvement at every level in the labour force. The corporate case aimed to increase the figures and raise the positions of females in organisations is buried in the framework of employee diversity management as a core resource (Vinnicombe and Colwill, 1995). Diversity is described as the condition of being dissimilar or mixed (Oxford English Dictionary, 2011) and in this logical managing of diversity should be an organisational method, through which sex differences are appreciated in corporations. Kandola and Fullerton (1994) endorse the notion of diversity as consisting of detectable and non-detectable alterations which contain aspects such as gender, age, ethnic group, disability, background, characteristics and work culture. They suggest that harnessing these alterations will form an efficient atmosphere in which everyone feels appreciated, where abilities are being completely utilised and in which strategic objectives are achieved. Consequently, the fundamental philosophy of managing diversity suggests that a corporation can get improved performance and competitive advantage through human capital. Corporations are being unsuccessful in modifying the male conquered model of senior management and as a result are losing one of their greatest resources. However, Calas and Smircich (1993) argue that diversity management does not have a positive effect because it disregards control, and reduces the importance and value of systemic resources of disadvantage, and reorganising diversity as a distinct problem solved by people exercising decision. They also suggest that diversity universalises; therefore differences should be managed with equal procedures. They also state that the diversity management paradigm locates itself inside managerial privilege and transforms diversity into a subject of organisational discretion and fails to investigate the actual values as well as suppositions of the organisational ideology itself. However in past years, acknowledgement of organising diversity as an organisational method increased in corporations due to the obvious commercial instead of moral and social influences of appreciating differences. Ann Morrison broadly describes the unique characteristics of these two methods and raises a few concerns: "Business performance is emphasised as a reason for diversity rather than the moral imperative that permeated the affirmative action movement . . . by making diversity seem as different from affirmative action as possible to avoid the problems and mistakes that occurred in the past, this strategy creates its own set of problems (Morrison, 1992, p. 5).

On the other hand, Demos study carried out in the United Kingdom stressed that, if present fashions continue, females in 2012 are going to make up an even larger part of the population (even now there are 1.2 million more females than males in the United Kingdom); older (by 2030 25 per cent of females going to be over the age of 65); more independent (20 per cent of females born in the 1960s are projected to stay childless); will have a greater chance of living by themselves and to be separated. They will be more likely to work in professions or management positions; more erogenous (31 per cent of females are currently at ease with flexible gender roles) and there is a higher possibility that they are going to be from a racial minority and have studied within higher education, with nearly 34 per cent of every new age cohort successful graduating at university (Wilkinson and Howard, 1997). The forecasted demographic variations mentioned above suggest that females themselves are going to challenge the traditional, male stream organisation methods of careers in corporations as their demands and essentials of management change. Research demonstrates that "individuals react systematically to the social characteristics of gender and ethnicity" (Konrad and Gutek, 1987, p. 112). If Demos forecasts are dependable, females going to progress away from the oversimplified standardised image presently used to organise and force women into male conquered societies and corporations. These forecasts have implications for organisational and managerial practice and might drive the modifications essential to support females' careers in management.

It is obvious from the short critical report revealed in this paper that a quantity of misunderstandings in relation to females and careers in management still exist, however there are further alterations amongst males and females with relation to involvements of career and work. It is also obvious that the greatest female disadvantage can be traced back to their double role. This is part of the explanation of their concentration in low waged, part-time work, and their absence from the higher senior levels where "obligation" to a company is seen as a vital condition. This text has made it clear that traditional methods and an ideal of career in corporations are built on the experiences of males, in spite of indication to prove the increasing significance of females in management and in corporations; therefore demonstrating an absence of integration of the experiences of females in the current ''male stream'' ideals of professional life and thus in corporations. Additional investigations are required about the effects of organisational reformation on the professional progress of an equality of males and females. This could lead to the creation of fresh methods that include matters concerning both sexes.