Management, women and gender capital

Anne Ross-Smith*, Kate Huppatz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


A generation of women have sustained careers in senior management. We use Bourdieu's concepts of field together with contemporary feminist interpretations of embodied cultural capital to analyse a group of such women's narratives of their own managerial experiences. We extend feminist analyses of gender capital and argue it may be an important cultural resource by which women develop and sustain their careers in senior management. Drawing on selected findings of an empirical study of senior managers in Australian organizations and a recent theoretical analysis of women's narratives using Bourdieu and feminist interpretations of Bourdieu, we examine whether women wield gender capital in the management field. We propose that gender capital, as articulated in contemporary feminist theory, provides an unexplored but potentially powerful explanatory mechanism for furthering our understanding of the complex and different ways the presence of women in senior managerial roles may shape contemporary management discourses and practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-566
Number of pages20
JournalGender, Work and Organization
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010


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