Female career advancement in general and women’s issues to achieve organizational top position in particular, is a subject that has been under discussion for a long time. Opinions on how the imbalance should be corrected differ greatly and have led to heated debates. Not least, the proposal for a legal quota in Swedish boards has stirred up emotions. In 2013, a foundation named AllBright published a report that showed that there are more people with the name Johan in Swedish boards than there are women. This received great attention in most media. Based on this discussion aroused our interest to investigate the phenomenon of female career advancement from a new perspective. Are there other means to lift more women to the highest position than quotas? After thought and research, we identified two phenomena that we felt could have this potential; network and mentorship. The purpose of the study is thus to create an understanding of how the presence of networking and mentoring impact on women’s career advancement.
Certain parts of the focus area have been examined in previous studies, why an abdicative approach has been applied. The theories, institutional theory, legitimacy theory and signaling theory has therefore acted as the foundation for finding patterns and trends that would explain the network and mentoring premises. As part of the study's desire to create an understanding of the phenomenon, a qualitative study was conducted. The empirical data were collected through semi-structured interviews in an audit-based context. The hierarchical structure was considered to clarify the advancement patterns. Furthermore, the focus was exclusively on the female partner. This is because these women achieved the industry's highest layer and thus should be in possession of valuable thoughts on women's advancement, arising out of personal experience.
The conclusion of this study is that networking and mentoring, as isolated phenomena, as well as in a mutually symbiotic relationship, has elements that can affect promotion of women's career advancement. The network can be a place for the mentee to find a mentor. Mentoring can in turn give the adept the tools needed to build valuable and career-wise favorable contacts. Making women aware of this and encourage the use of the phenomenon in a clear career promotion, could be a good basis for female advancement.
|Date of Award||2014-Jul-15|
|Supervisor||Elin Smith (Supervisor) & Pernilla Broberg (Examiner)|
- Degree of Bachelor of Science in Business and Economics
- 15 HE credits
Swedish Standard Keywords
- Business Administration (50202)
- female career advancement
- audit industry
- qualitative study