g Esping Andersen 1999 2009 Bonoli 2013 This not only overlooks the kinds of

G esping andersen 1999 2009 bonoli 2013 this not only

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reconciliation policies that enable this (e.g. Esping-Andersen, 1999, 2009; Bonoli, 2013). This not only overlooks the kinds of jobs that women are doing; it also underplays sources of women’s employment disadvan tages besides those linked to motherhood and work/family issues, but which are also at the root of women’s underrepresentation in board and executive positions. True, w omen’s underrepresentation in board and executive roles stems partly from the exceptional demands these jobs entail (e.g. regular long hours, evening/weekend working, travel away from home, and responsiveness to ‘crisis’ situations) , which are not always compatible with family life or women’s disproportionate care responsibilities (Seierstad and Kirton, 2015) and may discourage women from pursuing them (Hakim, 2006). Furthermore, whereas men in leadership and managerial positions are more likely to have a partner in part- time or flexible employment, or not in employment at all, women in such positions are more likely to have a partner who works similar hours or more; hence, women seeking top-level jobs potentially find it harder to negotiate a more equal division of domestic responsibilities
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3 (Júlíusdóttir et al., 2018). Yet, a s Orloff notes, ‘there’s plain old discrimination to deal with, too’ (2009b: p. 139). Research has shown that deeply-engrained cultural stereotypes of gender (e.g. wo men are ‘nice’, men are ‘assertive’) continue to subtly influence hiring and promotion decisions and processes for board and executive roles (Koenig et al., 2011). Thus, women may be held back from reaching these positions not simply because of the mother/caregiver role that they occupy or are assumed or expected to occupy; they may be held back simply because they are women . Consequently, work/family policies alone are not enough for redressing the gender imbalance in board and executive roles. This holds for antidiscrimination laws, too. While such legislation prohibits firms from excluding women from selection processes for the top jobs, it cannot guarantee that women will be included in such processes. Hence, subtle barriers that are not intentionally gendered, but which serve to undermine women’s access to powerful positions, remain unchecked. For instance, while the reliance of recruitment to board and executive positions on informal networks and contacts is not deliberately exclusory, women’s weaker connections to such networks can exclude them from recruitment pools (Ibarra et al., 2013). Therefore, more radical affirmative-action policies, which mandate the deliberate inclusion of women, are required to ‘jump - start’ the current ‘gender stall’ in women’s progress to board and executive positions (Huffman et al., 2010: p. 274). The gender composition of a small number of elite labour market positions and the affirmative-action policies that enable typically already-advantaged women to break into these positions may seem beyond the concern of the welfare state or social policy analysts.
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