The Female Manager's Experience: A Concept Map and Assessment Tool

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Ninety-three female corporate managers in the Southeast provided qualitative data on their experiences as women in management. Data were distilled to 57 items that were later sorted and rated by subsets of participants. Sorting resulted in a concept map, providing a visual representation of how women cognitively organized their experience. Qualitative data echoed negative themes from previous research, such as the “good old boys'” network and the “glass ceiling.” However, positive experiences were also reported, and quantitative data revealed that many of the worst experiences were not very descriptive of most participants' experience. The combination of qualitative and quantitative data revealed a corporate climate for women incorporating a complex blend of positive and negative experiences. Finally, an instrument was created to measure the quality of women's experiences in management positions that may be useful to consultants and researchers.

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