Cultural Barriers To Women

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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 revealed…show more content…
Even though it has been determined that there are minimal differences in the capabilities of men and women managers, women are still depicted as less suitable leaders than men (Somerville et al, 2014). This typical male corporate culture is often associated with power. According to Oakley, power in an organization has frequently been represented as a ‘zero-sum game’ (2000: 328) particularly in the higher ranked positions of corporations. This can explain why the retention rate is low, as female leaders leave the corporate domain as they are discouraged by the male-dominated culture. Women are tired of sticking around for the slow-moving male culture of organizations to pursue new practices in the organization (Oakley, 2000). The predominately male corporate culture helps explain the barrier of entry and retention of females to top management roles. Building on the barrier of a male dominated corporate culture, women have a tendency to to be left out from the informal work networks…show more content…
Women’s communication style and feminine characteristics are often regarded as unsuccessful managerial traits (Irish Business and Employers Confederation, 2002). The phrase ‘think leader, think male’, is often used to describe the views that masculine characteristics leads 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

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