Gender inequality regimes in Scotland, a study of senior women managers

  • Isobel Bruce MCDONALD

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Despite women's progress in the workplace over the last four decades, they remain under-represented in management, occupying only around a third of all management jobs. In addition, there are even fewer women on the higher rungs of the management career ladder, even though some women now do reach the top of organizations. Much of the research that has examined women's under-representation has focused on developing frameworks with which to identify the elements in organizations that constitute barriers to women's progression, so that these in turn can be overcome. Although there has been an acknowledgement of the effect of systemic factors on women's progression in management, there is a lack of a framework with which to analyse them. The aim of this research is to address this gap by synthesising the business systems literature together existing gender based frameworks in order to provide a new and extended approach to the study of women in management. This study was located in three sectors in Scotland, the Labour Movement, Local Government and Financial Services. A total of fifty-three interviews were carried out, comprising thirty-six senior women managers and seventeen background and elite interviews, making a total of fifty-three interviews. The study found that business systems, like organizations exhibit patterns of institutionalised gender discrimination, which constitute that business system's gender inequality regime. The study also found that business systems institutions as well as shaping organizations are also engaged in a co-constitutive process with organizations and actors.
Date of Award17 Jun 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorDora Scholarios (Supervisor) & Kirsty Newsome (Supervisor)

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