NORMA eResearch @NCI Library

A study exploring the reasons behind the gender gap in senior management in Ireland. Why the gender gap persists in the 21st Century

McGaharan, Donna (2015) A study exploring the reasons behind the gender gap in senior management in Ireland. Why the gender gap persists in the 21st Century. Undergraduate thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

[thumbnail of Bachelor of Arts]
PDF (Bachelor of Arts)
Download (2MB) | Preview


This dissertation seeks to explore the reasons behind the gender gap in senior leadership in Ireland, and why the ‘Glass Ceiling’ seems to remain impermeable in the 21st Century.

The main objective of this study was to investigate the perceptions and assumptions that may exist in relation to women’s career advancement and assess whether any direct discrimination exists. According to the existing literature and research already carried out it is believed that a number of assumptions and unconscious bias exists with regards to women and childcare, and how this impacts on employment. Conventional thinking and traditional stereotypes form part of this unconscious bias towards women in the workplace. Some of this has stemmed from society historically placing women in the home as the carer, cook, cleaner, mother and wife and men as the providers. It has been proven that a greater level of gender diversity at top level management actually improves business performance but yet mandatory quotas have been introduced in many European countries on recommendation from the EC to increase the numbers of female representation on company boards.

This study was limited to respondents living in Ireland employed in middle management and focuses on the career decisions of men and women, their level of job satisfaction and whether their ambition and aspirations have been realised to the same degree. Another factor that will be looked at is the level of responsibility given to both genders in their employment. The author was also interested in the views and opinions of gender equality in the workplace in modern day organisations. A survey was carried out by the author of this dissertation in June 2015. This survey found that there is insufficient evidence to suggest that there is any difference between men and women in the aforementioned points however the stereotypical perceptions and somewhat conventional opinions in society continue to be present.

The researcher intended to contribute to the existing knowledge about gender inequality in employment and provide more details into the perceptions and assumptions of women in the workforce. Further research may include a study of the Generation Y females and how their attributes and values may deliver a new era of female leaders that will not encounter or tolerate the same degree of bias and could be the generation to shatter the glass ceiling.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman > Gender
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > Issues of Labour and Work > Classes of Labour > Women and Work
Divisions: School of Business > BA (Honours) in Human Resource Management
Depositing User: Caoimhe Ni Mhaicin
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2015 14:14
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2015 14:14

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item