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Journal cover: Career Development International

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436
Previously published as: International Journal of Career Management
Incorporates: Executive Development

Online from: 1996

Subject Area: Human Resource Management

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Do women's networks help advance women's careers?: Differences in perceptions of female workers and top leadership


Document Information:
Title:Do women's networks help advance women's careers?: Differences in perceptions of female workers and top leadership
Author(s):Deborah A. O'Neil, (College of Business Administration, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, USA), Margaret M. Hopkins, (Department of Management, College of Business, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, USA), Sherry E. Sullivan, (College of Business Administration, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, USA)
Citation:Deborah A. O'Neil, Margaret M. Hopkins, Sherry E. Sullivan, (2011) "Do women's networks help advance women's careers?: Differences in perceptions of female workers and top leadership", Career Development International, Vol. 16 Iss: 7, pp.733 - 754
Keywords:Advancement, Careers, Diversity, Network, Success, Women
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/13620431111187317 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:Many thanks to Monica Forret for sharing her expertise and providing insights and comments on an earlier version of this paper.
Abstract:

Purpose – The use of women's networks is emerging as one method of advancing women's careers within organizations. However, the value of these networks has been questioned. The purpose of this study is to examine how potential differences in the perceptions of network members and the firm's executive leadership about the purposes and anticipated outcomes of a women's network may impact women's career advancement.

Design/methodology/approach – The authors interviewed 21 members of an intra-firm women's network and six members of the executive leadership team of a global organization. To examine the qualitative data, they used a process of thematic analysis to discover prevalent themes in the transcribed interviews.

Findings – Both members of the women's network and the executive leadership team placed responsibility for women's career advancement upon the individual; the firm's male-dominated culture and organizational constraints were not emphasized. While members of the women's network recognized how the network could be used to contribute to the firm's strategic goals, the executive leadership team did not recognize the network's possible effect on the firm's bottom line.

Originality/value – Examines how potential differences in the perceptions of network members and the firm's executive leadership about the purposes and anticipated outcomes of a women's network may impact women's career advancement.



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Facilitating age diversity in organizations.