Enablers and Barriers to Women’s Advancement in New Zealand Banks

22 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2009

See all articles by Sheryl

Sheryl

Massey University - School of Economics and Finance

Claire D. Matthews

Massey University - School of Economics and Finance

Date Written: August 24, 2009

Abstract

Women’s lack of advancement to the most senior positions within New Zealand banks has been evident for a number of years. The reason for this lack of progression has not been specifically researched in New Zealand, although it has been investigated in other countries. Aspects such as aspiration, characteristics, culture, education and experience are cited as either barriers or enablers to advancement in many studies. This paper reports a study involving both male and female staff members at one of the major New Zealand banks, which considered demographic characteristics, education, experience, aspirations, and other enablers and barriers to advancement.

The study provides evidence of gender differences, with women in the New Zealand banking industry continuing to struggle to reach the highest management levels. The findings show that there is no evidence to suggest that women are more experienced or more qualified than their male counterparts at the same levels. Major barriers do include the informal networks that can be difficult to access when you are a female, particularly as it is in these informal gatherings that business is often discussed. Work-life balance and stereotyping are also constraints to women’s advancement. Interestingly, both men and women rate the same characteristics as important for successful managers, and both also rate them as predominately masculine characteristics.

Keywords: Women, banking, New Zealand

JEL Classification: J16, J24, J44

Suggested Citation

Maynard, Sheryl and Matthews, Claire D., Enablers and Barriers to Women’s Advancement in New Zealand Banks (August 24, 2009). 22nd Australasian Finance and Banking Conference 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1460973 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1460973

Sheryl Maynard

Massey University - School of Economics and Finance ( email )

Private Bag 11-222
Palmerston North, 30974
New Zealand

Claire D. Matthews (Contact Author)

Massey University - School of Economics and Finance ( email )

Private Bag 11-222
Palmerston North, 30974
New Zealand

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