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The reason for appointing more women to top positions
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Industrial Economics.
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Industrial Economics.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Objective: Our main objective is to identify why the executive management positions of most companies in Europe are not moderately genders diverse. Within this objective we study the pattern of gender representation and diversity in a specific company (named Company A) and investigate theoretically why more women should be appointed to the top positions.

Research and practical implications: This thesis contributes to a better understanding of the reason behind not having moderately gender diverse executive management by studying Company A, taking into consideration that gender diversity positively influences a workplace. In addition it helps to raise the awareness of C-level management in the Company A; gives them an idea of what they should work with to get more women into management positions and show them the benefits for the organisation if appointing more women to top positions.

Scope of the thesis: Due to the scope of this thesis, our research is limited to only consider the gender diversity at the executive level within Company A.

Findings: This thesis has explored and identified that a gender diverse workforce drives economic growth and can capture a greater share of the consumer market. Diversity fosters a more creative and innovative workforce and is needed to realize a company’s full potential.

Based on the outcomes from the theory part and the quantitative and the qualitative research of this thesis; it is clear that executive management of many engineering companies are not moderately gender diverse. The same result was found when studying gender ratio in executive positions at Company A that authors have examined.

The reasons behind lacking a moderate gender diverse executive management, according to our study, are:

- Lower number of females with several years of experience and relevant competence for engineering jobs compared to men. It is easier to find highly experienced men with the right knowledge compared to women.

- Longer leaves of absence due to maternity leave. There are more women than men that take a leave of absence from the company for long periods, this leads to smaller networks and longer time to build experience.

- Most top managers hire from their existing networks; people whom they have been working with previously, who are mostly men and who are performing well. Therefore the recruiting process is another reason as to why there are more men than women in executive positions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 56 p.
Keyword [en]
Diversity, Gender, Women, Top Management, Glass Ceiling; Executive Management
National Category
Work Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-1037OAI: diva2:826754
Subject / course
IY2542 Master's Thesis (60 credits) MBA
Educational program
IYABA MBA programme
Available from: 2015-06-30 Created: 2015-06-24 Last updated: 2015-06-30Bibliographically approved

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