Let Us Listen to the Voice of Women in Management in the Twenty-First Century: A Longitudinal Study

  • Rosario Vázquez CarrascoEmail author
  • Ma. Eugenia López Pérez
  • Edgar Centeno
Part of the International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life book series (IHQL)


The role of women in business in terms of their job responsibility has been a topic of interest for many scholars. It has provided extensive discussions about, for instance, their strong and weak management capabilities and possible setbacks to their promotion and consolidation in positions of responsibility. Conciliation between family and work lives has also been a hot topic for researchers.

Considering the role of women in management (WIM) as a central topic, the work of Leonard (2001) analyzed the state-of-the-art, concluding that much of the challenges faced by women had not changed. Similar conclusions were found in more recent research developed by Vázquez-Carrasco et al. (2012). Therefore, taking such studies as reference, it may seem appropriate to readdress the situation of WIM in light of the present economic crash and possible employment relationship variations. This paper develops a longitudinal analysis taking as a reference the context of an occidental and developed country such as Spain. This research analyzes the opinion of a group of women who work in high and intermediate management positions. In this longitudinal study, results seem to indicate that job environment has changed considerably. Employment relationships have taken a somber downturn not experienced before, possibly due to the economic crash.


Motivation Discrimination Work-family Glass ceiling Longitudinal study 


  1. Almerm, E., Cohen, J., & Single, L. (2004). Is it the kids or the schedule? The incremental effect of families and flexible scheduling on perceived career success. Journal of Business Ethics, 54, 51–65.Google Scholar
  2. Arfken, D., Bellar, S., & Helms, M. (2004). The ultimate glass ceiling revisited: The presence of the women on corporate brands. Journal of Business Ethics, 50, 177–186.Google Scholar
  3. Ashforth, B. E. (2000). All in a day’s work. Academy of Management Review, 25, 472–491.Google Scholar
  4. Atwater, L. E., Brett, J. F., & Waldman, D. (2004). Men’s and women’s perceptions of the gender-typing of management subroles. Sex Roles, 50, 191–199.Google Scholar
  5. Bailyn, L. (1993). SMR forum: Patterned chaos in human resource management. Sloan Management Review, 34, 77–83.Google Scholar
  6. Barclays, B. (2000). Women in business: The barriers start to fall. London: Barclays Bank plc.Google Scholar
  7. Barragan, S., Mills, A., & Runte, M. (2010). The Mexican glass ceiling and the construction of equal opportunities: Narratives of women managers. Journal of Workplace Rights, 15, 255–277.Google Scholar
  8. Becker, P., & Moen, P. (1999). Scaling back: Dual earner couples’ work-family strategies. Journal of Marriage and Family, 61, 995–1007.Google Scholar
  9. Bell, M., Mclaughlin, M., & Sequeira, J. (2002). Discrimination, harassment and the glass ceiling: Women executives as a change agents. Journal of Business Ethics, 37, 65–76.Google Scholar
  10. Bem, S. L. (1993). The lenses of gender. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Birley, S., & Westhead, P. (1994). A taxonomy of business start-up reasons and their impact on firm growth and size. Journal of Business Venturing, 9, 7–31.Google Scholar
  12. Birley, S., Moss, C., & Sanders, P. (1987). Do women entrepreneurs require different training? American Journal of Small Business, 12, 27–35.Google Scholar
  13. Bowen, D. D., & Hisrich, R. D. (1986). The female entrepreneur: A career development perspective. Academy of Management Review, 11, 393–407.Google Scholar
  14. Boyar, S. L., Maertz, C. P., & Pearson, A. W. (2005). The effects of work-family conflict and family-work conflict on nonattendance behaviors. Journal of Business Research, 58, 919–925.Google Scholar
  15. Broadbridge, A. (1997). Why earnings differentials are different for men and women in retailing. The Services Industries Journal, 17, 221–236.Google Scholar
  16. Brush, C. G. (1992). Research on women business owners: Past trends, a new perspective and future directions. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 16, 5–16.Google Scholar
  17. Brush, C. G. (1999). Women’s entrepreneurship: A new approach. In S. Birley & D. Muzyka (Eds.), Mastering enterprise: Your single source guide to becoming an entrepreneur. London: Financial Times – Pitman Publishing.Google Scholar
  18. Buttner, E. H., & Moore, D. P. (1997). Women’s organisational exodus to entrepreneurship: Self-reported motivations and correlates with success. Journal of Small Business Management, 35, 34–46.Google Scholar
  19. Calás, M. B., & Smircich, L. (1993). Dangerous liaisons: The “feminine-in-management” meets “globalization.”. Business Horizons, 36, 71–81.Google Scholar
  20. Cann, A., & Siegfried, W. D. (1990). Gender stereotypes and dimensions of effective leader behavior. Sex Roles, 23, 413–419.Google Scholar
  21. Chaganti, R. (1986). Management in women-owned enterprises. Journal of Small Business Management, 24, 18–29.Google Scholar
  22. Chakrabarti, S., & Biswas, C. S. (2012). An exploratory analysis of women’s empowerment in India: A structural equation modelling approach. Journal of Development Studies, 48, 164–180.Google Scholar
  23. Chesterman, C., Ross-Smith, A., & Peters, M. (2005). Not doable jobs! Exploring senior women’s attitudes to academic leadership roles. Women’s Studies International Forum, 28, 163–180.Google Scholar
  24. Chetty, S., & Hamilton, R. (1995). The process of exporting in owner-controlled firms. International Small Business Journal, 14, 12–25.Google Scholar
  25. Christman, J., Casrud, A., Decastro, J., & Herron, L. (1990). A comparison of assistance needs of male and female pre-venture entrepreneurs. Journal of Business Ventures, 5, 235–248.Google Scholar
  26. Chusmir, L., & Parker, B. (1991). Gender and situational differences in managers’ values: A look at work and home lives. Journal of Business Research, 23, 325–335.Google Scholar
  27. Coleman, S. (2000). Access to capital and terms of credit: A comparison of men- and-women-owned small businesses. Journal of Small Business Management, 38, 37–52.Google Scholar
  28. Coleman, S. (2007). The role of human and financial capital in the profitability and growth of women-owned small firms. Journal of Small Business Management, 45, 303–320.Google Scholar
  29. Collins-Dodd, C., Gordon, I. M., & Smart, C. (2004). Further evidence on the role of gender in financial performance. Journal of Small Business Management, 42, 395–417.Google Scholar
  30. Coronel, J. M., Moreno, E., & Carrasco, M. J. (2010). Work-family conflicts and the organizational work culture as barriers to women educational managers. Gender, Work and Organization, 18, 219–239.Google Scholar
  31. Danes, S. M., Stafford, K., & Loy, J. T. (2007). Family business performance: The effects of gender and management. Journal of Business Research, 60, 1058–1069.Google Scholar
  32. De Bruin, A., & Lewis, K. (2004). Toward enriching united career theory: Familial entrepreneurship and copreneurship. Career Development International, 9, 638–646.Google Scholar
  33. deMartino, R., & Barbato, R. (2003). Differences between women and men MBA entrepreneurs: Exploring family flexibility and wealth creation as career motivators. Journal of Business Venturing, 18, 68–83.Google Scholar
  34. DeMartino, R., Barbato, R., & Jacques, P. (2006). Exploring the career/achievement and personal life orientations differences between entrepreneurs and nonentrepreneurs: The impact of sex and dependents. Journal of Small Business Management, 44, 350–368.Google Scholar
  35. Dhaliwal, S. (1998). Silent contributors: Asian female entrepreneurs and women in business. Women’s Studies International Forum, 21, 463–474.Google Scholar
  36. Du Rietz, A., & Henrekson, M. (2000). Testing the female underperformance hypothesis. Small Business Economics, 14, 1–10.Google Scholar
  37. Eagly, A., & Karau, S. (2002). Role congruity theory of prejudice towards female leaders. Psychological Review, 109, 573–598.Google Scholar
  38. Eagly, A., Karau, S., & Makhajani, M. (1995). The science and politics of comparing women and men. American Psychologist, 50, 145–158.Google Scholar
  39. Eagly, A., Makhijani, M. G., & Klonsky, B. G. (1992). Gender and the evaluation of leaders: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 111, 3–22.Google Scholar
  40. Edwards, J., & Rothbard, N. (2000). Mechanisms linking work and family: Clarifying the relationship between work and family constructs. Academy of Management Review, 25, 178–200.Google Scholar
  41. Ely, R., Foldy, E. A., & Scully, M. A. (2003). Reader in gender, work & organization. London: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  42. Eriksson-Zetterquist, U., & Styhre, A. (2008). Overcoming the glass barriers: Reflection and action in the “Woman to the Top” programme. Gender, Work and Organization, 15, 589–608.Google Scholar
  43. Fabowale, L., Orser, B., & Riding, A. (1995). Gender, structural factors and credit terms between Canadian small businesses and financial institutions. Entrepreneurship, Theory & Practice, 19, 41–65.Google Scholar
  44. Fagenson, E. (1990). At the heart of women in management research: Theoretical and methodological approaches and their biases. Journal of Business Ethics, 9, 267–274.Google Scholar
  45. Falkenberg, L., & Monachello, M. (1990). Dual-career and dual-income families: Do they have different needs? Journal of Business Ethics, 9, 339–351.Google Scholar
  46. Fisher, A. (2004). Why women rule. Fortune Small Business, 14, 47–52.Google Scholar
  47. Fitzgerald, M., & Folker, C. (2005). Exploring new frontiers in women’s family business leadership. International Journal of Family Business, 2, 1–11.Google Scholar
  48. Foucault, M. (1977). Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison. New York: Vintage.Google Scholar
  49. Fullager, J. F., Sumer, H. C., Sverke, M., & Slick, R. (2003). Managerial sex-role stereotyping: A cross-cultural analysis. International Journal of Cross-Cultural Management, 3, 93–106.Google Scholar
  50. Gherardi, S. (1995). Gender, symbolism, and organizational cultures. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  51. Glancey, K., Greig, M., & Pettigrew, M. (1998). Entrepreneurial dynamics in the small business service sector. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, 4, 249–268.Google Scholar
  52. Goffee, R., & Scase, R. (1982). Female entrepreneurs: Some preliminary research findings. The Service Industries Journal, 2, 22–30.Google Scholar
  53. Grace, M. (1998). The work of caring for young children: Priceless or worthless? Women’s Studies International Forum, 21, 401–413.Google Scholar
  54. Grant, P., & Perren, L. (2002). Small business and entrepreneurial research: Meta-theories, paradigms and prejudices. International Small Business Journal, 20, 185–211.Google Scholar
  55. Greenhaus, J., & Parasuraman, S. (1999). Research of work, family and gender: Current status and future directions. In G. N. Powell (Ed.), Handbook of gender and work. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  56. Guba, E. A., & Lincoln, Y. S. (1989). Fourth generation evaluation. Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
  57. Gundry, L. K., & Welsch, H. P. (2001). The ambitious entrepreneur: High growth strategies of women-owned enterprises. Journal of Business Venturing, 16, 453–470.Google Scholar
  58. Haar, H. M., & O’Driscoll, M. P. (2005). Exploring gender differences in employee attitudes towards work-family practices and use of work-family practices. Equal Opportunities International, 24, 86–98.Google Scholar
  59. Harvey, M., McIntyre, N., Heames, J., & Moeller, M. (2009). Mentoring global female managers in the global marketplace: Traditional, reverse, and reciprocal mentoring. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 20, 1344–1361.Google Scholar
  60. Heilman, M. E. (2001). Description and prescription: how gender stereotypes prevent women’s ascent up the organizational ladder. Journal of Social Issues, 57, 657–674.Google Scholar
  61. Heilman, M. E., Wallen, A. S., Fuchs, D., & Tamkins, M. M. (2004). Penalties for success: Reactions to women who succeed at male gender-typed tasks. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89, 416–427.Google Scholar
  62. Hisrich, R. (1989). Women entrepreneurs: Problems and prescriptions for success in the future. In O. Lagan, C. Rivchun, & D. Sexton (Eds.), Women-owned businesses. New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  63. Hisrich, R. D., & Brush, C. (1984). The women entrepreneur: Management skills and business problems. Journal of Small Business Management, 22, 30–37.Google Scholar
  64. Hisrich, R. D., & O’Brien, M. (1981). The woman entrepreneur. In K. H. Vesper (Ed.), Frontiers of entrepreneurship research. Wellesley: Babson Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.Google Scholar
  65. Hite, L. M., & McDonald, K. S. (2003). Career aspirations of non-managerial women: Adjustment and adaptation. Journal of Career Development, 29, 221–235.Google Scholar
  66. Hyde, J. S. (2005). The gender similarities hypothesis. American Psychologist, 60, 581–592.Google Scholar
  67. Jones, K., & Tullous, R. (2002). Behaviors of pre-venture entrepreneurs and perceptions of their financial needs. Journal of Small Business Management, 40, 33–50.Google Scholar
  68. Kalleberg, A., & Leicht, K. (1991). Gender and organisational performance: Determinants of small business survival and success. Academy of Management Journal, 34, 136–161.Google Scholar
  69. Kang, E., Ding, D. K., & Charoenwong, C. (2010). Investor reaction to women directors. Journal of Business Research, 63, 888–894.Google Scholar
  70. Kimmel, M. (2000). The gendered society. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  71. Knights, D., & Kerfoot, D. (2004). Between representations and subjectivity: Gender binaries and the politics of organizational transformation. Gender, Work & Organization, 10, 391–412.Google Scholar
  72. Krishnan, H., & Park, D. (2005). A few women-on top management teams. Journal of Business Research, 58, 1712–1720.Google Scholar
  73. Leonard, M. (2001). Old wine in new bottles? Women working inside and outside the household. Women’s Studies International Forum, 24, 67–78.Google Scholar
  74. Lerner, M., & Almor, T. (2002). Relationships among strategic capabilities and the performance of women-owned small ventures. Journal of Small Business Management, 40, 109–125.Google Scholar
  75. Lituchy, T. R., & Reavley, M. A. (2004). Women entrepreneurs: A comparison of international small business owners in Poland and the Czech Republic. Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 2, 61–87.Google Scholar
  76. Lupton, D., & Schmied, V. (2002). The right way of doing it all: First-time Australian mothers’ decisions about paid employment. Women’s Studies International Forum, 25, 97–107.Google Scholar
  77. Maclaran, P., & Catterall, M. (2002). Analysing qualitative data: Computer software and the market research practitioner. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 5, 28–39.Google Scholar
  78. Man, M. M., Skerlavaj, M., & Dimovski, V. (2009). Is there a “glass ceiling” for mid-level female managers? International Journal of Management and Innovation, 1, 1–13.Google Scholar
  79. Marta, J., Singhapakdi, A., & Kraft, K. (2008). Personal characteristics underlying ethical decisions in marketing situations: A survey of small business managers. Journal of Small Business Management, 46, 589–607.Google Scholar
  80. Martin, J. (2003). Feminist theory and critical theory: Unexplored synergies. In M. Alvesson & H. Willmott (Eds.), Studying management critically. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  81. Martins, L., Eddleston, K., & Viega, J. (2002). Moderators of the relationship between work-family conflict and career satisfaction. Academy of Management Journal, 45, 399–410.Google Scholar
  82. Mayer, D., & Cava, A. (1993). Ethics and the gender equality dilemma for US multinationals. Journal of Business Ethics, 12, 701–708.Google Scholar
  83. McColl-Kennedy, J., & Anderson, R. (2005). Subordinate-manager gender combination and perceived leadership style influence on emotions, self-esteem and organizational commitment. Journal of Business Research, 58, 115–125.Google Scholar
  84. Menzies, T., Diochon, M., & Gasse, Y. (2004). Examining venture-related myths concerning women entrepreneurs. Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, 9, 89–97.Google Scholar
  85. Meyerson, D. E., & Kolb, D. M. (2000). Moving out of the “armchair”: Developing a framework to bridge the gap between feminist theory and practice. Organization, 7, 553–571.Google Scholar
  86. Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis (2nd ed.). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  87. Mills, A. J. (1988). Organization, gender and culture. Organization Studies, 9, 351–369.Google Scholar
  88. Mills, A. J. (2002). Studying the gendering of organizational culture over time: Concerns, issues and strategies. Gender, Work & Organization, 9, 286–307.Google Scholar
  89. Mills, A. J., & Marjosola, A. (2002). Gender, identity and the culture of organizations. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  90. Moen, P., & Yu, Y. (2000). Effective work-life strategies: Working couples, work conditions, gender and life quality. Social Problems, 47, 291–327.Google Scholar
  91. Moncrief, W. C., Babakus, E., Cravens, D. W., & Johnston, M. W. (2000). Examining gender differences in field sales organizations. Journal of Business Research, 49, 245–257.Google Scholar
  92. Moore, D. P., & Buttner, E. H. (1997). Women entrepreneurs: Moving beyond the glass ceiling. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  93. Morris, M. H., Miyasaki, N. N., & Watters, C. E. (2006). The dilemma of growth: Understanding venture size choices of women entrepreneurs. Journal of Small Business Management, 44, 221–244.Google Scholar
  94. Nentwich, J. C. (2006). Changing gender: The discursive construction of equal opportunities. Gender, Work and Organization, 13, 499–521.Google Scholar
  95. Nicholson, P. (1996). Gender, power and organization: A psychological perspective. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  96. Noor, N. (2004). Work-family conflict, work and family-role salience, and women’s well-being. Journal of Social Psychology, 144, 389–405.Google Scholar
  97. Oakley, J. (2000). Gender-based barriers to senior management positions: Understanding the scarcity of female CEOs. Journal of Business Ethics, 27, 321–334.Google Scholar
  98. Orhan, M., & Scott, D. (2001). Why women enter into entrepreneurship: An explanatory model. Women in Management Review, 16, 232–247.Google Scholar
  99. Pardo-del-Val, M. (2010). Services supporting female entrepreneurs. The Services Industries Journal, 30, 1479–1498.Google Scholar
  100. Pasamar, S., & Valle, R. (2011). Work-life balance in Spanish companies. Myth or reality? Universia Business Review, 1, 14–31.Google Scholar
  101. Prime, J. L., Carter, N. M., & Welbourne, T. M. (2009). Women “take care”, men “take charge”: Managers’ stereotypic perceptions of women and men leaders. The Psychologist-Manager Journal, 12, 25–49.Google Scholar
  102. Quader, M. S. (2012). A characteristic model of successful women entrepreneurs in the UK. Journal of Services Research, 12, 89–113.Google Scholar
  103. Reskin, B., & Padavic, I. (1994). Women and men at work. Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press.Google Scholar
  104. Rosa, P., Hamilton, D., Carter, S., & Burns, H. (1994). The impact of gender on small business management: Preliminary findings of a British study. International Small Business Journal, 12, 25–32.Google Scholar
  105. Russell, H., O’Connell, J., & McGinnity, F. (2009). The impact of flexible working arrangements on work-life conflict and work pressure in Ireland. Gender, Work and Organization, 16, 73–97.Google Scholar
  106. Schein, V. E. (2001). A global look at psychological barriers to women’s progress in management. Journal of Social Issues, 57, 675–688.Google Scholar
  107. Schein, V. E., Mueller, R., Lituchy, T., & Liu, J. (1996). Think manager-think male: A global phenomenon? Journal of Organizational Behavior, 17, 33–34.Google Scholar
  108. Schwartz, E. B. (1976). Entrepreneurship: A new female frontier. Journal of Contemporary Business, 5, 47–76.Google Scholar
  109. Sczesny, S. (2003). A closer look beneath the surface: Various facets of the think-manager-think-male stereotype. Sex Roles, 49, 353–363.Google Scholar
  110. Shane, S., Kovereid, L., & Westhead, P. (1991). An exploratory examination of the reasons leading to new firm formation across country and gender. Journal of Business Venturing, 6, 431–446.Google Scholar
  111. Shelton, L. M. (2006). Female entrepreneurs, work-family conflict, and venture performance: new insights into the work-family interface. Journal of Small Business Management, 44, 285–297.Google Scholar
  112. Singh, S. P., Reynolds, R. G., & Muhammad, S. (2001). A gender-based performance analysis of micro and small enterprises in Java, Indonesia. Journal of Small Business Management, 39, 174–182.Google Scholar
  113. Sonfield, M., Lussier, R., Corman, J., & McKinney, M. (2001). Gender comparisons in strategic decision-making: An empirical analysis of the entrepreneurial strategy matrix. Journal of Small Business Management, 39, 165–173.Google Scholar
  114. Spelke, E. (2005). Sex differences in intrinsic aptitude for mathematics and science? A critical review. American Psychologist, 60, 950–958.Google Scholar
  115. Srinivasan, R., Woo, Y., & Cooper, A. C. (1994). Performance determinants for male and female entrepreneurs, frontiers of entrepreneurship research. Wellesley: Center for Entrepreneurial Studies Babson College.Google Scholar
  116. Stake, R. (1994). Case studies. In N. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  117. Stokes, J., Riger, S., & Sullivan, M. (1995). Measuring perceptions of the working environment for women in corporate settings. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 19, 533–549.Google Scholar
  118. Strykowska, M. (1995). Women in management in Poland. Women’s Studies International Forum, 18, 9–12.Google Scholar
  119. Uhlaner, L., & Thurik, R. (2007). Postmaterialism influencing total entrepreneurial activity across nations. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 17, 161–185.Google Scholar
  120. Van den Brink, M., Benschop, Y., & Jansen, W. (2010). Transparency in academic recruitment: A problematic tool for gender equality? Organization Studies, 31, 1459–1483.Google Scholar
  121. Van Gelderen, M., Thurik, R., & Bosman, N. (2006). Success and risk factors in the pre-startup phase. Small Business Economics, 26, 319–335.Google Scholar
  122. Vázquez-Carrasco, R., López-Pérez, M. A., & Centeno, E. (2012). A qualitative approach to the challenges for women in management: Are they starting in the 21st century? Quality & Quantity, 46, 1337–1357.Google Scholar
  123. Verheul, I., & Thurik, R. (2001). Start-up capital: Does gender matter? Small Business Management, 16, 109–125.Google Scholar
  124. Vinnel, R., & Hamilton, R. (1999). A historical perspective on small firm development. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 23, 5–18.Google Scholar
  125. Walker, E., & Webster, B. (2006). Management competencies of women business owners. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 2, 495–508.Google Scholar
  126. Weitzman, E., & Miles, M. (1995). Computer programs/or qualitative data analysis. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  127. Welsh, M. (1998). The corporate enigma: Women business owners in New Zealand. Wellington: GP Books.Google Scholar
  128. Welter, F. (2004). The environment for female entrepreneurship in Germany. Journal of Small Business Enterprise Development, 11, 212–221.Google Scholar
  129. Wilson, F. M. (1996). Research note: Organizational theory: Blind and deaf to gender? Organizational Studies, 17, 825–842.Google Scholar
  130. Yin, R. (1994). Case study research: Design and methods. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  131. Yin, R. (2003). Case study research, design and methods (3rd ed.). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  132. Yukl, G. A. (1999). An evaluative essay on current conceptions of effective leadership. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 8, 33–48.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosario Vázquez Carrasco
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ma. Eugenia López Pérez
    • 2
  • Edgar Centeno
    • 3
  1. 1.Pablo de Olavide UniversitySevilleSpain
  2. 2.Areca GestionSevillaSpain
  3. 3.EGADE-Monterrey Institute of Technology (ITESM)Mexico CityMexico

Personalised recommendations