Barrierer for kvinders avancering til butikschefniveau indenfor Coop Danmark A/S

Anne Bødtker & Christina Bjerregaard Christensen

Student thesis: Master thesis


Through a socio-constructive approach, this thesis examines barriers to career advancement for female mid-level managers in Coop Danmark A/S. The focal point of this thesis is the women’s articulations and barriers constructed hereby. The methodical underlying basis is founded on a Grounded Theory inspired approach which is characterized in that it allows the empirical outcomes to play a leading role in the assessment. Generally, our empirical outcomes can be divided into three main categories: 1. Work hours and stressful working conditions as a barrier to advancement 2. The lack of support and encouragement as a barrier to advancement 3. The Glass Ceiling as a barrier to advancement Work hours and stressful working conditions were articulated and thus constructed as a barrier to advancement by the female mid-level managers in Coop. This was in evidence as the respondents experienced discrepancy between their perception of what a top manager position involves and their role in family life. The women considered it difficult to harmonize family life with work and long hours. This was articulated unequivocally as a barrier. Another central barrier found in this thesis was lack of support which had an impact on the women’s experiences in regard to self-confidence and personal opportunities. The women’s selfconfidence was impacted by their self-perception of lack of professional qualifications and skills. This barrier was articulated explicitly as the respondents thought that they were not competent enough professionally to occupy a store manager position. In addition, our outcomes showed that the women lacked everyday support and encouragement from their respective store manager. Furthermore, this assessment found indications that the widely recognized structural and organizational barrier, The Glass Ceiling, has an impact on the advancement of female mid-level managers. Several women stated explicitly that they experience Coop as a work place characterized by a male dominated organizational culture, where men are favored and where equal opportunities do not exist. These experiences and sentiments were articulated as being problematic and discouraging, and show a negative effect on the women’s ambitions and experienced opportunities.

EducationsMSocSc in Human Resource Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2010
Number of pages131