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Going up? Women in the public sector


McMahon, M and Limerick, B and Cranston, NC and Andersen, C, Going up? Women in the public sector, Career Development International, 11, (7) pp. 609-618. ISSN 1362-0436 (2006) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1108/13620430610713472


Purpose – This paper aims to document women’s reflections on their careers over a ten-year period to provide quantitative baseline data on which to frame follow-up in-depth interviews. The participants work in the public service in Queensland (Australia) and had been recommended for, and participated in, women in management (WIM) courses conducted in the early 1990s. Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected by means of a survey (containing closed and open items) which gathered demographic data and data related to employment history, perceptions of success and satisfaction, and the women’s future career expectations. Findings – Findings revealed that the percentage of women in middle and senior management had increased over the ten-year period, although not to the extent one might have anticipated, given that the women had been targeted as high flyers by their supervisors. While not content with their classification levels (i.e. seniority), the majority of the cohort viewed their careers as being successful. Practical implications – Questions arise from this study as to why women are still "not getting to the top". There are also policy implications for the public service concerning women’s possible "reinventive contribution" and training implications associated with women only courses. Originality/value – The study is part of an Australian longitudinal study on the careers of women who attended a prestigious women-only management course in the early 1990s in Queensland. This is now becoming a study of older women.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Careers, Women, Australia, Public sector organizations,Women executives
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Other education
Research Field:Other education not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Other education and training
Objective Field:Other education and training not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Cranston, NC (Professor Neil Cranston)
ID Code:62482
Year Published:2006
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2010-03-12
Last Modified:2012-03-01
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

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