Is it a Man's World? Senior-Level Executive Women at Work in the 21st Century

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The last several years have witnessed calls for changes and inclusive processes for women in organizations. Both the #MeToo movement and McDormand’s call for an 'inclusive rider' highlight the problem of gender inequality even in senior positions. Indeed, some countries have shown evidence of an ever-growing increase in demands to raise quotas and legislate further regulations encouraging women’s inclusion in companies' boards (Huse, 2005; Seierstad, Warner-Søderholm, Torchia & Huse, 2015). However, despite this rising awareness, women still face significant struggles, biases, and difficulties as they move up the ladder into senior positions. Acker (2006) argues that social and economic inequality in the United States and other industrial countries is embedded in organizations, and is evident in the daily activities of working in an organization (2006, p. 441). However, while workers in lower-level, non-management positions are more aware of this inequality, it is less prevalent in management, leadership, and supervisory roles. In the current symposium, we will discuss the difficulties women face as they advance to senior positions. The papers presented in the symposium indicate the multiple barriers and biases concerning women working in male dominated or even neutral-gender occupations. We also deliberate about the connection between women serving as board members and organizational performance, and highlight the differences in the usage of social capital between senior women and their male counterparts. Focusing on the difficulties facing women in senior professional positions, this symposium offers rich insights into the challenges women face as they move up the hierarchical corporate ladder.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationAcademy of Management (AOM) Proceedings
ISBN (Electronic)2151-6561
StatePublished - 29 Jul 2020


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