The barriers for women in career advancement

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Chapter 2


This sections presents a reappraisal of literature pertinent to this survey including a history of mentoring, the barriers for adult females in calling promotion, the relationship between mentoring and calling promotion, mentoring in healthcare disposal, and the advantages and disadvantages of formal and informal mentoring.

History of Mentoring

Mentoring is rooted in Greek mythology and originate as a construct in a narrative where Athena, the goddess of wisdom, assumed a male signifier and called herself Mentor. Athena acted as a foster parent to Telemachus when the male child ‘s male parent, Odysseus, fought in the Trojan War. Athena provided counsel and direction to the male child as the latter assumed the leading of the family and groomed him to be Ithaca ‘s future swayer ( Butler, 1944 ) . Hence, the construct of mentoring has been shaped by the impression of a relationship where a more experient grownup ushers a vernal person ( Kram, 1985 ) . More specifically, Kram ( 1985 ) describes mentoring as “a relationship between a younger grownup and an older, more experient grownup [ who ] helps the younger single learn to voyage the grownup universe and the universe of work” ( p. 2 ) . Lacey ( 2001 ) states that the term “mentor” has since evolved to stand for either a counsellor, instructor, or friend and the mentoring relationship now connotes a partnership where the primary intent is the exchange of information and cognition distinct to a given industry or organisation. Other writers refer to mentoring relationships as “sponsor, frequenter, and godfather” relationships ( Rowe, 1978, as cited in Kram, 1985 ) . A literature reappraisal on mentoring across assorted subjects by Hayes ( 2001 ) produced the definition of mentoring “as a procedure of constructing trust between two people, one is experienced and the other is a newcomer” ( p. 29 ) . Carmin ( 1988 ) provides a comprehensive definition of mentoring:

Mentoring is a complex, synergistic procedure, happening between persons of differing degrees of experience and expertness that incorporates interpersonal or psychosocial development, calling, and/or educational development, and socialisation maps into the relationship. This one-to-one relationship is itself developmental and returns through a series of phases which help to find both the conditions impacting the results of the procedure. ( p. 10 )

Mentoring as a field of survey started with the 1978 research of Levinson et Al. on grownup work forces ‘s calling development experiences ( as cited in Kram, 1985 ) . Levinson and his co-workers concluded that the mentoring relationship was a polar experience in a immature grownup ‘s life because aside from having cognition from wise mans, the experience besides shapes a individual ‘s self-esteem and professional individuality.

Kram ( 1995 ) identifies two wide types of wise man maps: career-related support and psychosocial support. Career-related support refers to the support mechanisms provided by the wise man that boosts the mentee ‘s calling promotion within the organisation. Component maps associated with career-related mentoring include “sponsorship, exposure and visibleness, training, protection, and disputing assignments” ( p. 86 ) . Due to the wise man ‘s influence and high position, experience, and leading place in the organisation, the mentee receives the best hands-on preparation and gets aid on larning more about the organisation itself and its interior workings, receives exposure to the wise man ‘s societal webs, and acquires publicities. In this respect, the wise man sees him or herself in the mentee ‘s places and want to prepare a future executive in his or her manner. Allen & A ; Eby ( 2002 ) position that wise mans and mentee likewise benefit from the mentoring relationship and that wise mans are fueled by the desire to guarantee the success of the following coevals of leaders. Kram ( 1985 ) theorized the wise mans can supply five specific calling development maps ( as cited in Ragins & A ; Cotton, 1999 ) :

  1. Sponsoring publicities and sidelong moves ( sponsorship ) ;
  2. Coaching the protege ( training ) ;
  3. Protecting the protege from inauspicious forces ( protection ) ;
  4. Supplying disputing assignments ( disputing assignments ) ; and
  5. Increasing the protege ‘s exposure and visibleness ( exposure ) . ( p. 530 )

The 2nd mentoring map is psychosocial in nature. The psychosocial map of mentoring references “those facets of a relationship that enhance an person ‘s sense of competency, individuality, and effectivity in a professional role” ( Kram, 1985, p. 32 ) . Kram ‘s wise man function theory ( 1985 ) suggests that there are four constituents of psychosocial support that wise mans can supply to mentees ( as cited in Ragins & A ; Cotton, 1999 ) :

  1. Helping the protege develop a sense of professional ego ( credence and verification ) ;
  2. Supplying problem-solving and a sounding board ( reding ) ;
  3. Giving regard and support ( friendly relationship ) ; and
  4. Supplying designation and function mold. ( p. 530 )

Where calling support is dependent upon the wise man ‘s power and influence within the organisation, psychosocial support focal point on the emotional bond and the interpersonal relationship underlying the mentoring relationship. Career support purposes at progressing the protege ‘s calling while psychosocial support is geared at bettering the protege ‘s personal development.

Barriers for Women in Career Advancement

Compared to several decennaries past, adult females have made springs in footings of progressing toward senior executive places once monopolized by work forces. However, calling promotion chances for adult females still lag well compared to the work forces. Tharenou ( 1999 ) estimates that although adult females in developing states make up about half of the full work force, merely 5 per centum of them are situated in top executive places. A unreassuring fact is that while there seems to be equal chances for work forces and adult females in entry-level places, the route toward the more senior degrees are unluckily blocked for adult females. While is undeniable that the greater workforce composing of adult females is one of the most positive societal alterations in the 21st century, battle for equal chance persist as adult females are still excluded from the top places in the organisational hierarchy.

This phenomenon has been referred to as the “glass ceiling, ” a term originally used in 1986 by a Wall Street journalist to imply the position of adult females in the corporate universe. The term was coined as a description of the complex barriers that block adult females ‘s chances to interrupt through the top degrees in the organisation. This “glass ceiling” is particularly apparent when one looks at rareness of female senior executives in organisations of virtually all subjects.

The construct of the glass ceiling was recognized and accepted as a public term when the 1992 Federal Glass Ceiling Commission concluded that there were so several barriers that hindered adult females and other minority groups to accomplish their full potency within the calling ladder. The same survey confirmed that “gendered” structural and organisational barriers prevented adult females from achieving the most senior degree places in several companies. Furthermore, it lamented on the alleged “hegemonic masculinity” that is permeant in the organisational civilization in corporate America ( Woody & A ; Weiss, 1994 ) .

Many surveies have reported on the assorted barriers that adult females encounter during professional promotion. A study by adult females ‘s group Catalyst ( 1994 ) listed the most common barriers identified by mid-level directors that prevent them from progressing farther into the top-level places. These barriers include ( as cited in Arnold & A ; Shinew, 1997 ) :

  1. stereotyping and preconcepts about suitableness for leading places ;
  2. exclusion from informal webs of communicating ;
  3. absence of effectual direction preparation for female employees ;
  4. failure to keep upper degree directors accountable for developing and progressing adult females ;
  5. unequal assessment and compensation systems, taking to unfairnesss in wages ;
  6. inflexibleness in specifying work agendas ; and
  7. absence of plans that enable employees to equilibrate work/non-work duties. ( pp. 42-43 )

The work of research workers Henderson and Bialeschki ( 1995 ) has been influential in comprehensive surveies that aim to place the different barriers that adult females face in their chase of upward calling mobility. They conducted a countrywide study among adult females practicians in the diversion and leisure industry. The research workers grouped the different barriers into three wide classs: person, organisational, and home/family. By analyzing calling forms, household state of affairss, calling satisfaction, and equity in the workplace issues, they found that pigeonholing and gender-based favoritism remains the greatest barrier for adult females that prevent them from progressing to the top grade of the corporate ladder. More than half of them besides reported being sexually harassed. Other identified barriers include the deficiency of preparation, deficiency of wise mans, and adult females ‘s exclusion from “male-only” webs.

Another survey by Frisby and Brown ( 1991 ) surveyed 30 adult females mid-level directors belonging to leisure-oriented organisations in order to analyze their calling experiences as they struggled their manner to the top. Consistent with old findings, adult females in in-between direction reported that the most common barriers they encountered from progressing in their callings include career breaks due to pregnancy or household issues, the deficiency of function theoretical accounts or wise mans, the deficiency of support from senior executive to advance adult females, exclusion, gender stereotyping, personal factors, and exclusion from male-dominated societal webs.

Frisby ( 1992 ) did a followup survey to analyze in a more comprehensive mode the factors that hinder the calling development of adult females in leisure organisations. Using a descriptive-quantitative design, Frisby grouped the assorted barriers reported by adult females directors that have influenced their calling way and mobility. There were legislative factors such as gender favoritism, wage equity, and Torahs on sexual torment ; organisational factors such as patriarchate, exclusion from webs, flexible work options, trouble in covering with male-dominated organisational civilization, deficiency of preparation and mentoring chance ; and single factors such as gender, instruction, and geographical mobility ; and in conclusion, household factors that include deficiency of support from partner and trouble equilibrating work-family duties.

Due to the complex and varied nature of identified barriers for adult females, surveies by Henderson & A ; Bialeschki ( 1995 ) and by Woody & A ; Weiss ( 1994 ) have grouped these barriers into three classs: a ) Individual factors ; B ) Organizational/Structural factors ; and c ) Family or Home-related factors.

Individual factors as barriers

Individual traits and accomplishments are frequently attributed for dilatory calling promotion among females. Individual factors such as age, educational attainment, accomplishments, experience, proficiency, or ability are related to promotion. There remains gender stereotypes on what work forces can make that adult females can non that justifies greater upward mobility for males. Some express that adult females lack the necessary properties such as assertiveness, motive, or networking accomplishments to progress in callings ( Vecchio 2002 ) . The simple fact of “being female” therefore becomes a powerful barrier for calling promotion among adult females. For case, there is a dual criterion when it comes to appreciating leading in females. Morrison, Greene and Tischler ( 1985 ) opine that when adult females display competency in leading, they are viewed negatively while work forces who visibly lead are appreciated. Similarly, sequence in vacated executive places is normally based on the gender of the old resident of the place or the occupation. Since most senior executive places are dominated by males, adult females are instantly excluded from consideration. Furthermore, females are placed in “traditionally-female” places such as staffing and human resources and can non be promoted to higher places that are “traditionally-male” in nature. Age can besides be a barrier as persons who are deemed “too young” or “too old” may non be deemed suited for senior executive places.

Organizational factors as barriers

Most research surveies conclude that the biggest barriers to career promotion among adult females are beyond their personal control. The Glass Ceiling Commission indicts organisational and structural barriers as the most prevailing barrier toward adult females ‘s upward ascent in the calling ladder ( Woody & A ; Weiss, 1994 ) .

Bergmann ( 1986 ) opined that organisational constructions specifically occupation assignments are designed to forestall adult females from go uping to the top. Job assignments are considered to be the primary path for calling promotion. Organizational constructions “steer away” adult females ‘s possible for upward mobility by restricting them to work functions that are considered to be “women ‘s occupations.” Bergmann cites a survey by Forbes that the quickest manner to the top of corporations is placement in functional countries or important occupation assignments that lead to the achievement of critical organisational undertakings ( p. 88 ) .

Klenke ( 1996 ) suggests that adult females face an exclusion policy that prevents them from perforating the “old boys” web. Entree to such webs is considered a important measure to deriving upward mobility in organisations. One can entree information and larn more about the organisation non possible in regular communicating channels.

Another barrier cited by adult females is the deficiency of mentoring chances from male higher-ups. For case, Dreher and Cox ( 1996 ) found that females find it hard to derive informal wise mans who are male. If they do happen a male wise man, they besides face challenges in the class of the mentoring relationships particularly in relation to its nature and possibility of misunderstanding. Some female directors even report being subjected to sexual torment.

Cooper Jackson ( 2001 ) contends that the scarceness of adult females function theoretical accounts is another sensed barrier toward promotion. Organizational leading is preponderantly patterned after the male signifier of leading. Since geting senior executive places are blocked, developing adult females function theoretical accounts that would animate and actuate adult females and neutralize male-dominate civilization in the organisation becomes disputing. Furthermore, because adult females lack chances for function mold or mentoring relationships, they frequently fail to be after their calling and construct effectual networking schemes.

The world of stereotyping has been found to impact adult females ‘s calling promotion profoundly. Because of gender stereotyping, adult females feel stray and discouraged because they perceive themselves unable to intermix good or suit in with the patriarchal civilization of senior executive leading. Sometimes, this perceptual experience leads them to believe that have to alter well in order to accommodate the male-dominated civilization of the top hierarchy.

Davidson and Cooper ( 1986 ) study that gender stereotyping in the organisation leads to higher emphasis degrees among adult females than work forces. This is because gender pigeonholing frequently pressures adult females to exercise excess attempt or to work harder and execute better than their male opposite numbers in order to turn out themselves equal to them. Womans tend to believe that in order to accomplish their calling ends, they have to over-perform to counter the effects of negative gender stereotyping. Even when adult females are promoted and do get senior executive position, there is a prevalent norm that they have to execute even better than their male co-workers to turn out themselves worthy of the place.

Powell and Butterfield ( as cited in Collinson & A ; Hean, 2001 ) province that pigeonholing besides leads to societal isolation among female directors and their heavy dependance on formalistic relationships for calling promotion. Female directors put a prime on their professional portfolio and certificates when they pursue promotional chances whereas work forces can depend on informal webs to progress in their callings.

Collinson and Hearn ( 2001 ) believe that unless the patriarchal nature of establishments are broken down, adult females will happen it hard to progress their callings in what is considered male district. They define patriarchate as a procedure and a context through which male domination is promoted by work forces and establishments. Patriarchy is a stumbling block for adult females because it “control [ s ] entree to hierarchal power and features of cognition claims” ( Collinson and Hearn, 2001, p. 23 ) . In this environment, cultural patterns and information flow mean male authorization, hence, puting adult females as mere subsidiaries to work forces. However, the job with patriarchate is that it is a “complementary process” that is legitimized by both adult females and work forces and signifiers portion of the organisational civilization. In this mode, male laterality becomes a self-perpetuating phenomenon in organisations. Furthermore, Collison and Hearn ( 2001 ) opine that executive civilization is a male kingdom. They believe that adult females are non accepted entirely into the work force but are simply tolerated. Hence, the impression of “patriarchal elitism” particularly in top executive civilization is widespread ( p. 8 ) .

Pringle ( 1999 ) contends that female directors lack entree to webs, preparations, and mentoring plans because they are normally gender-based and male-gendered. The domination of work forces in organisations is sustained with changeless designation with one another. Perpetuating a gendered organisational civilization leaves adult females directors isolated and topographic points them in a state of affairs where executive leading feels really much like prosecuting in changeless “physical combat” ( Sinclair, as cited in Pringle, 1999, p.8 ) .

Home-related factors as barriers

The barriers that adult females encounter extend far beyond the confines of the workplace to the place. For many female directors, the place environment nowadayss several obstructions that must be overcome in order to accomplish upward mobility.

One obstruction is that some adult females directors, particularly, those with households, see the alleged “second displacement syndrome” where they must work on the first displacement in the workplace and go on on the 2nd displacement in the place environment. The load of beguiling work-related ends with household duties is a serious concern for some adult females. Womans who find themselves in this circumstance are besides called “dual calling women” where public presentation at work and at place are necessary. To execute this equilibrating act between professional development and personal life may turn out excessively hard for some adult females in many ways. Some of them finally may happen unequal support from their several households to prosecute calling promotion ends.

A 1995 study by enrolling company Robert Haff and Associates ( 1995 ) found that more than 80 per centum of adult females directors who were interviewed preferred a occupation that featured more flexible hours, provided more household clip, and slow-paced promotion than grueling occupations that featured rapid calling mobility. In a sense, because of extra duty at place and with their households, adult females do non comprehend calling mobility as “a methodical rise to power” ( Aburdene & A ; Naisbitt, as cited in Pringle, 1999, p. 43 ) . Unlike the work forces, adult females do non concentrate on the remarkable aim of professional promotion but battle to “do it all” and come up with more originative ways to harvest professional success.

Research besides reports that adult females directors continue to bear the brunt of transporting the “double burden” of household and work. They have to be successful every bit in the place and at work. In the place environment, they need to presume the multiplex undertakings of married woman and housewife and battle to go peers with work forces in the workplace at the same clip. Sue Newell opines that so long as adult females continue to beguile these double functions, they may ne’er accomplish the para they need and deserve in relation to work forces in the work environment ( Newell, 1992 ) .

However, surveies have besides found the place and family-related barriers do non needfully interfere with motive and calling success among many adult females. The job with holding the extra load of household duty for adult females is that it is viewed as a negative thing. Research has suggested that many companies look at adult females with home-related committednesss with disfavour ( Swiss & A ; Walker, as cited in Pringle, 1999 ) . What is worse is that some adult females may even be penalized career-wise for holding committednesss outside of the professional kingdom. Having matrimonial and household duties may non interfere in footings of committedness among adult females but these factors might decelerate down the promotional chances of adult female directors. Some adult females have reported that the workplace was ask foring and contributing to success when they were individual and changed well to a more unwelcome environment when they got married and had kids.

In an article, direction expert Douglas T. Hall ( 1990 ) suggested that in order to supply more entree for adult females in footings of calling promotion, companies need to come up with schemes that promote balance between work and household duties. Among the schemes he urge were more flexible work agendas and expanded usage of home-based work option.

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