International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Women Managers in Turkey: Is it going towards a Dual Gender?
Gül Selin Erben

The main purpose of this research is to examine whether women employees who hold managerial positions in Turkey, experience any difficulty because of the contradictory gender role demands stemming from their private and professional lives. Secondly, this research aims to understand the dynamics lying behind gender role related problems- such as; increasing number of workloads, contradictory expectations of both private and work spheresof women managers in Turkey. Lastly, another quest of this research is to discover the link or gap between values of business world and gender role expectations of women from the women’s point of view. Since 1990’s, there is a tremendous increase in the participation of women to employment in Turkey. This fact can be seen as a positive progress in terms of liberation and increase of women’s economic power and diminishing the gap between genders in terms of rights and freedom. However, it is clear that women have to pass through tough stages in order to find a place in both social and economic life (Hewlett, 2002). Through the difficult career journey, women have to make more sacrifices than man in their personal lives. In order to have a place among “man’s club” in the business world, women have to wear an extra clothe. It can be observed that women employee and especially the ones who hold top-managerial positions, have to become more “masculine” to gain managerial positions and even to hold that position (Korabik and Ayman: 1989). Aiming to test the research questions of this study, in-depth interviews are conducted with 10 women managers in Istanbul, Turkey. Interviews are conducted from January to May, 2014. Data were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. At the end of the data collection, data were decoded and analyzed using open coding method Open coding method is used to analyze the data gathered via in-depth interviews. As a result, it is found that women managers are being subject to an experience that can be called “a shift towards dual gender”. Turkish women managers share the problem of performing contradictory gender role expectations within different spheres of their lives. What’s more, although business world is still seen as men’s club, participants pointed out the fact that today, soft skills such as problem solving, conflict management, interpersonal relations and time management are more important than any time. According to the statement of the participants, soft skills are mostly attributed to women traits by Turkish society as many other societies all around the world, thus more women leaders will be on top of many companies in near future.

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