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Measuring women's beliefs about glass ceilings: development of the Career Pathways Survey

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to develop a new measure called the Career Pathways Survey (CPS) which allows quantitative comparisons of women's beliefs about glass ceilings. Design/methodology/approach ‐ A 34-item version of the CPS was completed by 243 women from all levels of management, mostly in Australia. An expanded 38-item CPS was administered to another sample of women (n=307). Findings ‐ Analyses of data from both studies yielded a four factor model of attitudes to glass ceilings: resilience, acceptance, resignation and denial. The factors demonstrated good internal consistency. Practical implications ‐ The CPS allows a comparison of positive attitudes towards seeking promotions via resilience and denial scores, and provides feedback on negative attitudes towards seeking promotions via resignation and acceptance scores. Social implications ‐ This new measure can be recommended for studies of women's and men's attitudes towards gender inequality in organizational leadership. Also, it could play a role in identifying sexist cultures in organizations. Originality/value ‐ Because of the scarcity of measures of glass ceiling beliefs, this study makes a major contribution to the literature on women's beliefs about barriers to career advancement.

Keywords: Acceptance; Attitude surveys; Australia; Career development; Denial; Glass ceilings; Measures; Resignation; Resilience; Women; Women's beliefs

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 9, 2012

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