Impact of Gender on Access to Informal Learning: Case Studies of Women Managers in Traditionally Male-Dominated Industries




Sandifer, Rebecca A.

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Women go to work daily in search of ways to assimilate and succeed in a predominately patriarchal society, one they had little role in creating, controlling, or maintaining (Bierema, 1999, 2001 ). Johnson (2005) describes patriarchy as a system that promotes "male privilege by being male dominated, male identified, and male centered" (p. 5). Men and women both participate in the system of organizational patriarchy, "shaped by socialization and by paths of least resistance" (p. 31 ). It is within such male dominated environments that women managers must learn to become managers (Bryans & Mavin, 2003). This qualitative case study will explore the informal learning experiences of two women managers in two different patriarchal organizational cultures. This study explores how these women make meaning out of their learning experiences within these organizations. The purpose of this research is to examine the participants' access to informal learning opportunities at work.



communication in organizations, communication in management, career development, gender role in work environment, self-managed learning


Sandifer, R.A. (2009). Impact of gender on access to informal learning: case studies of women managers in traditionally male-dominated industries (Unpublished dissertation). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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