Shattered, Cracked, or Firmly Intact?
March 12, 2013
|Subtitle||Women and the Executive Glass Ceiling Worldwide|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
The numbers of women presidents and prime ministers have grown substantially over the past five decades, and women now govern in vastly different contexts. This book outlines important patterns related to women executive's paths, powers, and potential impacts. It combines qualitative and quantitative analysis and explores both contexts in which women have successfully gained executive power and those where they have not.
The glass ceiling is truly shattered in some contexts, such as Finland (where three different women leaders have come to power), only cracked in the United Kingdom (with Margaret Thatcher as the only example of a female prime minister), and remains firmly intact in the United States (with still no cases of a female president).
While women have made substantial gains, they still face many obstacles in their pursuit of national executive office. Compared to their male counterparts, women more often ascend to relatively weak executive posts and gain offices through appointment as opposed to popular election. When dominant women presidents do rise through popular vote, they almost always hail from political families and serve within unstable systems.
This book asserts the importance of institutional features in contributing positive representational effects for women national leaders. It offers both a broad analysis of global dynamics of executive power and particulars about individual women leaders and regional and country details, including executive positions, systems, and processes. Viewing gender as embedded within institutions and processes, it recognizes the complex, contradictory, and multifaceted dimensions of women's national leadership.