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The Glass Ceiling Conquered: An exploratory assessment of Women in Senior positions in the Facilities Management sector in Ireland

Earl, Janet (2019) The Glass Ceiling Conquered: An exploratory assessment of Women in Senior positions in the Facilities Management sector in Ireland. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

Purpose
Women account for 60% of global college graduates (OECD, 2017), they hold 52% of low level of management positions, with this proportion decreasing at each level of seniority, falling to 19% of CEO positions” Women in Management – the Leadership Pipeline Report 2017.

In many industries women are overlooked for promotion because they are women. They are often equally or better qualified than their male counterparts; have worked hard; however, have had to work harder to prove themselves equal to men, yet the negative assumptions around women leaders abound; that is a man’s job; women cannot be strong leaders; women have child caring responsibilities; the list goes on.

This research is an exploratory assessment of Women in Senior positions in the Facilities Management sector in Ireland, and to understand what they believe has made them successful in an industry that is represented by women at senior level by less than 22%. It attempts to understand how these women conquered the glass ceiling.

Design, Methodology and Approach
Qualitative research was undertaken on a small sample of seven women very senior in their organisation to investigate and understand the barriers and enablers that influenced the career advancement of these women to leadership positions.

Research was conducted via Skype / Zoom and was transcribed and analysed to gain an in-depth knowledge of the opinions of the participants.

Findings
There is a definite improvement in Women conquering the glass ceiling, however there were a few key themes that in their opinion, assisted the participants.
1) flexibility of organisations,
2) employees’ support and development
3) family life and balance
4) networking and mentoring
5) luck

The luck many of the women felt they had benefitted from is discussed in depth later in this paper. Rescher defined luck as the randomness of everyday life that involves three things; a beneficiary; a development that is positive or negative; is fortuitous (unexpected). Were the women lucky or did their hard work come to fruition?

Originality / Value
Currently there are no peer reviewed qualitative studies into women in the Facilities industry. This study will contribute to the knowledge taxonomy and understanding of the industry in Ireland in area of gender and leadership experiences of senior female leaders.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman > Gender
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > Human Resource Management
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > Issues of Labour and Work > Classes of Labour > Women and Work
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Business Administration
Depositing User: CAOIMHE NI MHAICIN
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2019 12:49
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2019 12:50
URI: http://trap.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/3963

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