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Work, Organization, and Employment

The Network Trap

Why Women Struggle to Make it into the Boardroom

Authors: Bushell, Meryl, Hoque, Kim, Dean, Deborah

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  • Features a large number of interviews with typically hard-to-reach respondents (directors, senior executives, and chairs of FTSE 350 companies)
  • Provides a detailed and nuanced depiction of the board selection process
  • Critiques existing theories accounting for womens’ under-representation on boards
  • Introduces the concept of the network trap, and explores the difficulties women face in developing network relationships with key organisational decision-makers
  • Highlights the practical implications for organisations and regulators in understanding the lack of women in board level roles and in supporting women into such roles
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About this book

As we begin the third decade of the twenty-first century, women have entered the workplace in unprecedented numbers, are now outperforming men in terms of educational qualifications, and are excelling across a range of professional fields. Yet men continue to occupy the positions of real power in large corporations.

This book draws on unique, unprecedented access to Chairs of FTSE 350 Chairs, boardroom aspirants and executive head-hunters, to explain why this is the case.

The analysis it presents establishes that the relative absence of women in boardroom roles is not explained by their lack of relevant skills, experience or ambition, but instead by their exclusion from the powerful male-dominated networks of key organisational decision-makers. It is from within these networks that candidates are sourced, endorsed, sponsored, and championed. Yet women’s efforts to penetrate these networks are instead likely to trap them into network relationships that will be of little value in helping them to fulfil their career aspirations.

The analysis also identifies why women struggle to gain access to these networks, and in doing so, it demonstrates that the network trap in which women find themselves will not be overcome simply by encouraging them to change their networking behaviours. Instead, there is a need for a fundamental reconsideration of how boardroom recruitment and selection is conducted and regulated, to ensure the development of a more open, transparent and equitable process.  


About the authors

Meryl Bushell PhD is Visiting Fellow, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick. She has many years of senior management experience in FTSE 100 organisations. She is an established and experienced non-executive Director and a strategic advisor to public and private sector bodies. 

Kim Hoque is Professor of Human Resource Management at Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, and is the Director of the Industrial Relations Research Unit. He has published widely across the employment relations, human resource management and equality and diversity fields. He has worked closely in either an advisory or consultancy capacity with both public and private sector organisations, trade unions, government agencies, and Parliamentary bodies. 

Deborah Dean is Associate Professor of Industrial Relations at the University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom. Her research focuses on equality issues in employment and the interrelation of legal, social, and cultural regulation of work. She has written reports for and given evidence on employment inequalities to policymakers in the European Commission and UK Parliament.   



Table of contents (7 chapters)

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-981-15-0878-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-981-15-0877-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Immediate ebook access, if available*, with your print order
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Network Trap
Book Subtitle
Why Women Struggle to Make it into the Boardroom
Authors
Series Title
Work, Organization, and Employment
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Springer Singapore
Copyright Holder
Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.
eBook ISBN
978-981-15-0878-3
DOI
10.1007/978-981-15-0878-3
Hardcover ISBN
978-981-15-0877-6
Series ISSN
2520-8837
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
IX, 140
Number of Illustrations
4 b/w illustrations
Topics

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