Cultural Barriers In Senior Management Roles

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Cultural barriers also work against female’s entry and retention into senior management roles. Male dominated corporate culture is a barrier women face that is largely influenced by cultural norms that have existed for a great deal of time, but still continue to be embedded in the workplace today even though society has changed significantly (International Labour Organization, 2015). Traditionally, the cultural stereotype of leadership, running a business and having executive control and power to make decisions have been viewed as the territory of men (Oakley, 2000). This, therefore issues a challenging barrier to any female who aims to be in senior management. In a 2002 survey concentrated on why female executives leave their job, it was…show more content…
Women’s communication style and feminine characteristics are often regarded as unsuccessful managerial traits (IBEC, 2002). The phrase ‘think leader, think male’, is often used to describe the views that masculine characteristics lead to managerial success (Hoobler et al, 2011: 708). Male managers regularly associate the desired managerial qualities such as, independent, competitive and confident with men, and less desired traits with women (Oakley, 2000). Women were described as ‘less confident, less analytical, less emotionally stable, less consistent and possessing poorer leadership abilities’ than male colleagues (Oakley, 2000: 326). Women’s communication style can be undervalued by males in the organization, as they are less likely to conform to behaviors that are self-promoting. Consequently, because women tend to lack this trait, it can work against them in terms of climbing the organizational hierarchy ladder to upper management, as negotiating is a behavior that is used regularly in the organization (Oakley, 2000). Women’s physical attractiveness and the way in which she dresses, particularly in senior positions, is another stereotype that can weaken their standing as leaders. For example, women in top positions who were seen as more attractive received lower evaluations on their…show more content…
Consequently, a double-bind for women is created whereby she is in a position where she cannot win (Oakley, 2000). According to Hoobler et al (2011), the female traits are not in order with managerial proficiency and those females who take on the traits desired for managerial achievement are chastised for gender role violations. The presence of masculinity and femininity traits in female leaders can be difficult for people within the organization to absorb. Double-binds often present themselves to women in the form of challenges such as ‘speaking assertively but not too assertively, dressing feminine, but not dressing too feminine…this can only serve to provoke needless self-monitoring and self-consciousness (Oakley, 2000: 325). Therefore, focusing on such issues, only takes away from the key responsibilities of being a

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