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Title: Reaching the top of the ivory tower : exploring the leadership journeys of women in UK higher education
Author: Fox Kirk, Wendy
ISNI:       0000 0004 5924 152X
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2016
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This exploratory theory building research examines women’s leadership journeys within Higher Education in the UK. It takes a critical management perspective and draws on Bourdieu’s Social Action theory to provide a view through a new lens to answer the following question. Why, despite advances in equality legislation and policy, are there still so few women in powerful leadership positions in the UK HE sector? A positive deviance sampling approach was used to identify women who have reached very senior positions in HE in pre-1992 universities in the UK. Analysis of career narratives was conducted focusing on women’s world views and drawing on their sensemaking to provide new insights into how gender and power shape the modern, complex world of work. Findings demonstrate that structural power inequalities persist resulting in discrimination and sexism throughout women’s career journeys. Bourdieu’s concepts of the field, capital, habitus and symbolic violence are used to shine a light on the key role of cultural hegemony and symbolic violence. The concept of the internalisation of structural constraints, resulting in psychological constraints to agency and action is introduced.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HQ The family. Marriage. Woman ; L Education (General)