Purpose – This paper has two‐fold objectives: first, it presents female managers' experience with family‐work dilemma. Second, it examines the priorities married female managers assign to the commitments of their dual roles and the support they received from their organizations. Design/methodology/approach – This study was based on a case study, using a qualitative approach and triangulation of methods. These include: interviews, observations, analysis of texts and documents and autobiography. In‐depth interviews were carried out with 26 male managers in senior posts and 22 female managers in senior and middle management levels in two Federal Ministries (Health and Education) located in Khartoum (the capital city of Sudan). The narrative style (story‐telling) was used to analyze the interview data. Findings – Results indicates that female managers interviewed give first priority to their families and secondary importance to their job. Married women managers who have children sought the assistance of others, (their extended families, servants, nannies and cooks). The priority married women managers give to their families play a negative role in their career progression and contributes to their under‐representation at top management level. Originality/value – The study highlights the effect of the family‐work dilemma on the formation of the glass ceiling women managers are confronting in public organizations in Sudan.
Gender in Management: An International Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 9, 2008
Keywords: Gender; Women executives; Role conflict; Glass ceilings; Promotion; Sudan