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Beyond the token status: Women in business consultancies in Germany


  • Rudolph, Hedwig


This article documents and analyzes the extent and structure of gender-related differences in employment conditions in the business consulting sector in Germany. Using a structural and actor-oriented approach, I tested the hypothesis that the (limited) career paths of women are attributable to the interaction of structural aspects of the sector and company-specific personnel policies. Analysis of the empirical material (e.g., interviews with executives in 40 consulting firms) points to the filter effects of structural factors (location, company size, consulting field, hierarchy level) as well as to certain components of corporate culture (performance assessment criteria, the role of informal networks, the ideology of extensive employee availability). Consequently, the main problem for women is not getting into business consulting, but coping with the substantial social costs of a long-term career in this field.

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  • Rudolph, Hedwig, 2004. "Beyond the token status: Women in business consultancies in Germany," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Internationalization and Organization SP III 2004-202, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbint:spiii2004202

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Becker, Gary S, 1985. "Human Capital, Effort, and the Sexual Division of Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 33-58, January.
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