SET Women and Careers: a case study of senior female scientists in the UK
Durbin, S. (2010) SET Women and Careers: a case study of senior female scientists in the UK. In: Cater-Steel, A. and Cater, E. , eds. (2010) Women in Engineering, Science and Technology: education and career challenges. IGI Global, pp. 232-250. ISBN 9781615206575
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.4018/978-1-61520-657-5
Very few studies of senior female scientists have been conducted in the UK. This chapter explores the careers of thirteen senior female scientists in a UK public sector organisation where men dominate. These women operate within a context which reinforces, ‘think management, think male’ (Schein 2007). Despite this, these women followed traditional career paths of science qualifications and employment. Whilst many parallels can be drawn with other women in SET, these women buck the trend. They have achieved senior positions and unusually long lengths of service, post-childbirth, despite little help from mentors and support networks. Although their experiences of gender relations were variable and they have limited strategic leadership career options, they have sustained a positive work orientation and a strong desire to reputation-build. Notwithstanding their failure so far to break through the glass ceiling, they hold the potential to be role models for others in SET.
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