Managing Lives: Corporate Women and Social Change

By Sue Freeman Joan Mendelson | Go to book overview

I
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

This study is divided into three parts. The first traces women's professional development from their early participation in the paid labor force to their becoming managers. Most of these women had not planned a career path and did not enter on a managerial track, although thirty-one held college degrees, eleven of them advanced degrees; thirteen of these earned degrees were in business-related fields. In chapter 1 we learn about how involvement with paid work shaped these women's motivations and aspirations for more professional responsibility. Job experiences influenced not only their work history but also their developing notions of themselves in relation to career.

Despite diverse and circuitous routes to the business world, the women interviewed began to discover the gratifications that accompany emerging competence. These women defy stereotypic notions of what is important and motivating to females. At work their primary focus is on successful accomplishment of the task at hand, not on people and interpersonal relationship. In contrast to a kind of filial loyalty that might characterize those assumed to be affectively oriented, these women demonstrate intense commitment to work rather than to a specific person, employer, or company.

Chapters 2 and 3, on career planning and mobility, focus on women's learning processes as they develop a career-oriented self. The varied and unorthodox ways in which they became involved in work carried implications for their abilities to map a career. Chapter 4 documents women's evolution as

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Managing Lives: Corporate Women and Social Change
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 3
  • I - PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT 17
  • 1 - Work 19
  • 2 - Career Planning 34
  • 3 - Mobility 54
  • 4 - Managing 70
  • II - Confidence 95
  • 5 - Self 97
  • 6 - Family 122
  • 7 - Marriage and Children 140
  • III - CONNECTIONS AND CONTEXT 171
  • 8 - Relation between the Personal and the Professional 173
  • 9 - Females in Male Organizations 191
  • 10 - The Context of Opportunity 217
  • Appendix 229
  • Notes 235
  • Index 257
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