Women and Leadership in Corporate Australia: Questions of Preference and 'Adaptive Preference'

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Doughney, James (2007) Women and Leadership in Corporate Australia: Questions of Preference and 'Adaptive Preference'. Advancing Women in Leadership, 23. pp. 1-10. ISSN 1093-7099


We are told that the second generation of women leaders will reap the benefits of the breakthroughs made by their predecessors. Yet will they? Research shows that women's numbers in executive positions are still appreciably less than are men's, and progress toward equality has slowed. This article seeks to explain the persistence of gender inequalities in organizations. In particular, it describes the phenomenon of "adaptive preferences," whereby many women confronting a dominant male organizational culture reduce their expectations. They resile from leadership ambitions both because they adapt their preferences to prevailing possibilities and because they make a conscious decision not to play by the existing rules of the game. In this way, gender inequalities can be self-reinforcing. Overcoming gender inequality therefore demands much more radical organizational change than has occurred to date.

Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/3245
Official URL http://www.advancingwomen.com/awl/spring2007/dough...
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Economics and Finance
Historical > FOR Classification > 1599 Other Commerce Management, Tourism and Services
Historical > SEO Classification > 9405 Work and Institutional Development
Historical > FOR Classification > 1503 Business and Management
Historical > FOR Classification > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society
Keywords ResPubID13959, women leaders, women in executive positions, gender inequalities in organizations, dominant male organizational cultures
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