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The career progression of women in state government agencies

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to empirically examine the impact of the utilization of organizational practices on the career progression of women to executive positions in state-level government organizations in the USA. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The design included an online survey instrument sent to a purposive sample of 600 female administrative agency executives in 50 states. A standard multilinear regression model tests the predictive power of three composite explanatory utilization variables on the dependent variable, career progression of women to upper level management. The composite predictor variables are: utilization of work/family practices; utilization of diversity practices; and utilization of promotional practices. Findings ‐ Contrary to expectations, the relationship between career progression of women and family-friendly utilization does not appear to be statistically significant. However, the time it takes respondents who utilized family-friendly practices in their organizations to reach upper-level management decreased by 0.037 years. And contrary to expectations, women who utilize promotion practices are more likely to achieve executive-level status, even though it does not necessarily take them less time to do so. Originality/value ‐ This research is distinct from previous studies in that it considers the relationship between the utilization of practices and women's attainment of executive-level positions.
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Keywords: Career development; Organizational processes; Public administration; United States of America; Women

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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