Men and women in positions of responsibility - A qualitative analysis of organizational readiness in France and Finland

Flora Galy-Badenas (1) , Stephen M. Croucher (2)
(1) Department of Communication at the University of Jyväskylä. , Finland
(2) Department of Communication at the University of Jyväskylä. , Finland


This paper examines whether male and female managers hold different opinion on women in managerial and higher level positions, depending on their different cultural background. Furthermore, the paper deals with managers’ perception of organizational readiness to accept women in managerial positions. The paper is looking at this aspect from a cultural perspective, by comparing France to Finland. The research is based on 16 interviews, 9 from France and 7 from Finland, with individuals in different managerial positions in 10 private companies located in both countries. Findings indicate that regardless of the country and of the cultural backgrounds, organizations are not ready to let women climb the hierarchical ladder as men do. Results also show that despite a positive mind-set toward gender-equality, Finnish women still face a strong masculine corporate culture.

Full text article

Generated from XML file


Act on Equality between Women and Men (Finland, 1986). 8.8.1986/609. Retrieved from:

Allport, G. (1954). The nature of prejudice. Reading, MA: AddisonWesley.

Armenakis, A. A., Harris, S. G., & Mossholder, K. W. (1993). Creating readiness for organizational change. Human Relations, 46, 681-703. DOI:

Ashcraft, L. K. (2006). Back to work: Sights/sites of difference in gender and organizational communication studies. The sage handbook of gender and communication (pp.97-122). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage publication, inc. DOI:

Ayman, R., Korabik, K., & Morris, S. (2009). Is transformational leadership always perceived as effective? Male subordinates’ devaluation of female transformational leaders. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 39, 852-879. DOI:

Babcock, L., & Laschever, S. (2003). Women don’t ask: Negotiation and the gender divide. Princeton University Press. DOI:

Bennhold, K. (2010). Where having it all doesn’t mean having equality. The New-York Times. Retrieved from:

Byrne, D. (1971). The attraction paradigm. New York, NY: Academic Press.

Catalyst. (March, 2014). Quick take: Statistical overview of women in the workplace. New York, NY: Catalyst.

Clement, R. W. (1994). Culture, leadership, and power: The keys to organizational change. Business Horizons, 37, 33-39. DOI:

Davies-Netzley, S. (1998). Women above the glass ceiling: Perceptions on corporate mobility and strategies for success. Gender & Society, 12, 339–55. DOI:

Eagly, A. H. (1987). Sex differences in social behavior: A social-role interpretation. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Eagly, A. H., & Wood, W. (1991). Explaining sex differences in social behavior: A meta-analytic perspective. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 17, 306-315. DOI:

Eagly, A. H., Wood, W., & Diekman, A. H. (2000). Social role theory of sex differences and similarities: A current appraisal. In T. Eckes & H. M. Trautner (Eds.), The developmental social psychology of gender (pp. 123–174). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Eby, L. T., Adams, D. M., Russell, J. E. A. & Gaby S. H. (2000). Perceptions of organizational readiness for change: Factors related to employees' reactions to implementation of team-based selling. Human Relations, 53, 419-442. DOI:

Fisher, M. (2010). Why French women have so little equality, a story in charts. The Washington Post. Retrieved from:

Génisson Law (May 9:th, 2001). Professional equality between men and women. Retrieved from:

Gornick, J.C. & Meyers, M.K. (2008). Creating gender equalitarian societies: An agenda for reform. Politics & Society, 36, 313-349. DOI:

Grant Thornton International Business Report (2012). Women in senior management: Still not enough. Retrieved from:

Grésy, B. & Dole, P. (2011). The equal access of women and men in work and family responsibilities in the workplace. Paris, France: General Inspectorate of social affairs.

ILO (International Labor Organization) report: “Global Employment Trends for Women 2012” in collaboration with UN women. Retrieved from:

Kanter, R.M. (1977). Men and women of the corporation. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Katila, S. & Eriksson, P. (2013). He is a firm, strong-minded and empowering leader, but is she? Gender positioning of female and male CEOs. Gender, Work and Organization Journal, 20(1), 71-84. DOI:

Korvajärvi, P. (2002). Gender-neutral gender and denial of the difference, in Czarniawska, B. and Höpfl, H. (Eds), Casting the Other: The Production and Maintenance of Inequalities in Work Organizations (pp. 119-137). London, UK: Routledge.

Lambert, C. (2001, May 1). French women in politics: the long road to parity. Brookings Institutions. Retrieved from

Leira, A. (1992). Welfare states and working mothers. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. DOI:

Lewin, K. (1951). Field theory in social science. New York, NY: Harper and Row.

Loi Copé-Zimmermann (27 January 2011). Retrieved from:

Lortie-Lussier, M., & Rinfret, N. (2002). The proportion of women managers: Where is the critical mass? Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 32, 1974–1991. DOI:

Mertens, D. M. (1998). Research methods in education and psychology: Integrating diversity with quantitative & qualitative approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi, de la Formation professionnelle et du Dialogue sociale. (2014). L’égalité professionnelle homme-femme. Retrieved from:,89/fiches-pratiques,91/egalite-professionnelle,117/l-egalite-professionnelle-entre,12788.html

Öun, I. (2012). Work-family conflict in the Nordic countries: A comparative analysis. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 43, 165-184. DOI:

Saari, M. (2013). Promoting gender equality without a gender perspective: Problem representations of equal pay in Finland. Gender, Work and Organization, 20(1), 36-55. DOI:

Sandberg, S. (2013). Lean in: Women, work, and the will to lead. London, UK: Random House.

Schein, E. H. (2010). Organizational culture and leadership (4:rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass

Schneider, B. (1975). Organizational climate: An essay. Personnel Psychology, 28, 447-79. DOI:

Schneider, B., Ehrhart, M. G. & Macey, W. H. (2011). Perspectives on organizational climate and culture. In S. Zedeck (Ed.), Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Vol. 1.Building and Developing the Organization, (pp. 373–414). Washington, DC: Am. Psychol. Assoc. DOI:

Stoker, J. I., Van der Velde, M., & Lammers, J. (2012). Factors relating to managerial stereotypes: The role of gender of the employee and the manager and management gender ratio. Journal of Business and Psychology, 27, 31–42. DOI:

Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union. (2012). Retrieved from:

Weiner, B. (2009). A theory of organizational readiness for change. Implementation science, 4. Retrieved from: DOI:

Windebank, J. (2001). Dual-earner couples in Britain and France: Gender divisions of domestic labour and parenting work in different welfare states. Work, Employment & Society, 15, 269-290. DOI:

World Economic Forum. (2014). Gender gap ranking. Retrieved from:


Flora Galy-Badenas
Stephen M. Croucher
(Primary Contact)
Author Biographies

Flora Galy-Badenas, Department of Communication at the University of Jyväskylä.

Flora Galy-Badenas (MA, 2015, University of Jyväskylä) is a Doctoral student in the Department of Communication at the University of Jyväskylä.

Stephen M. Croucher, Department of Communication at the University of Jyväskylä.

Stephen M. Croucher (PhD, 2006, University of Oklahoma) is a Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Jyväskylä.

Galy-Badenas, F., & Croucher, S. M. (2016). Men and women in positions of responsibility - A qualitative analysis of organizational readiness in France and Finland. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 16(2), 1–11.

Article Details


Smart Citations via scite_