The domestic basis for the managerial career

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Abstract

Although there are now many studies of managers, there has been little research on how gender relations in the private sphere are lived to accommodate the managerial career. The organisation of domestic life and the household division of labour has largely been neglected. This article examines the domestic basis of the managerial career. The data are drawn from a larger study of women and men senior managers in five multinational companies. The analysis reveals that the domestic arrangements necessary to sustain the life of a senior manager are very different for men and women, giving the lie to the myth that equality has been achieved. My argument is that for all the company initiatives designed to promote equal opportunities, the managerial career is still largely dependent upon the services of a wife at home, or a housewife substitute in the form of paid domestic services.

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