Gender, Media, and Organization

Challenging Mis(s)Representations of Women Leaders and Managers

Edited by:
Carole Elliott, University of Roehampton
Valerie Stead, Lancaster University, UK
Sharon Mavin, University of Roehampton
Jannine Williams, University of Bradford, UK

A volume in the series: Women and Leadership. Editor(s): Susan R. Madsen, Utah Valley University. Karen A. Longman, Azusa Pacific University. Faith Wambura Ngunjiri, Concordia College, MN.

Published 2016

Gender, Media, and Organization: Challenging Mis(s)Representations of Women Leaders and Managers is the fourth volume in the Women and Leadership: Research, Theory, and Practice series. This cross‐disciplinary series from the International Leadership Association draws from current research findings, development practices, pedagogy, and lived experience to deliver provocative thinking that enhances leadership knowledge and improves leadership development of women around the world. This volume addresses the lack of critical attention in leadership research to how women leaders and professionals are represented in the media. The volume acts as a companion piece to a Seminar Series, funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC), to address this gap in the research. The lack of research interrogation of gendered media representations of women leaders and professionals is a surprising omission given the wealth of evidence from stakeholders outside academia revealing that women, and women leaders, continue to be underrepresented across all forms of media outlet. This volume contributes to social change, equality, and economic performance by raising consciousness about women’s lack of representation in the media and challenges gendered mis(s)representations of women professionals and leaders in the media through the presentation of a range of empirical investigations and methodological approaches. The volume contributors use various theories and conceptualizations to problematize and analyze women’s limited representation in the media, and the gendered representations of women professionals and leaders.

Together, the volume’s 14 chapters reflect the beginning of a rich, diverse, emergent strand of academic research that interrogates relationships between the media in its multiple forms and women’s leadership. Illuminating the positioning of women leaders and professionals as both complex and problematic, these chapters offer an important agenda for management and organization scholars. They attest to the need to describe and make visible women’s mis(s)representations in the media while drawing attention to the importance of situating these mis(s) representations in the broader social, economic, historical, cultural, and political context as a means to gain insight into their development and evolution. As a rich and diverse site of research, examination of the media calls for a broad methodological repertoire. The chapters in this book draw from multiple sources and include, among others, the development of thematic analysis to illuminate stereotypes, the use of critical discourse analysis to understand professional women’s experience, a rhetorical analysis of the covers of Time magazine, and an interrogation of the power dynamics manifested in the media’s practice of nicknaming women leaders.

Gender, Media, and Organization is a first step in stimulating further research that poses critical questions concerning gendered and sexualized representations of women leaders in textual and visual forms, and considers the media’s influence on gender equality and social justice. The chapters offer fruitful avenues for future research to continue the momentum of challenging gendered media representations of women leaders and professionals.

Introduction, Carole Elliott, Valerie Stead, Sharon Mavin, and Jannine Williams. PART I: WOMEN EXECUTIVES. Is She Really Into It? The Media as Misleading in its Portrayals of Female Executives’ Work–Family (Im)Balance, Maura J. Mills, Leanne M. Tortez, and Maria E. Gallego‐Pace. Who’s That Girl? The (Mis)Representation of Female Corporate Leaders in Time, Sandra L. French and Lisa Baker Webster. A Fairytale Career: Media Representations of Australia’s First Female Banking CEO, Helena Liu. Pulling a Chair Up to the Table: A Critical Analysis of the “Lean In” Self‐Help Movement and Its Implications for Individual Women and Women’s Equality at Work, Judith A. Clair and Caela McCann. “There’s Never Been a Better Time to Be a Woman”: The Discursive Effects of Women on Boards’ Research Reports, Scarlett E. Brown and Elisabeth K. Kelan. PART II: WOMEN PROFESSIONALS AND LEADERS. Dress and the Female Professional: A Case Study of Working Woman, Ann Rippin, Harriet Shortt, and Samantha Warren. In the Name of the Other: Nicknaming and Gendered Misrepresentation/s of Women Leaders, Alison Pullen and Lucy Taksa. Caveman Meritocracy: Misrepresenting Women Managers Online, Janne Tienari and Pasi Ahonen. Wynne Some, Lose Some: An Intersectional Approach to Media Prejudice Against Canadian Women Politicians, Rita A. Gardiner. PART III: WOMEN IN FILM AND TELEVISION. The “Gogglebox” and Gender: An Interdiscursive Analysis of Television Representations and Professional Femininities, Helen Rodgers, Liz Yeomans, and Sallyann Halliday. Mediating the Future: Women Political Leaders in Science Fiction Television, Kimberly Yost. The Runway‐Ready Ringleader and Other Media Myths: An Analysis of Common Television and Film Stereotypes of Women Leaders, Shana Matamala and Stephanie Abrahim. Working in ShondaLand: Representations of African American Women in Leadership, Carrie Wilson‐Brown and Samantha Szczur. The Margin as a Space of Resistance: Transforming Gendered Leadership Through Popular Film, Alexia Panayiotou. About the Editors. About the Contributors.