Gender and Career Choice: Experiences of UK Charity Retail Managers


Broadbridge A & Parsons E (2005) Gender and Career Choice: Experiences of UK Charity Retail Managers. Career Development International, 10 (2), pp. 80-97.

Purpose - This paper extends the debate on gender and career choice using the case study of managers in charity shops in the UK, a group that have previously not been researched. The charity retail sector has undergone considerable change over the last few years, particularly in its effort to professionalize. As a result shop managers' positions have changed from being voluntary to paid. With the changes taking place in the sector, the purpose of this research was to explore the views of current charity shop managers with regard to their career choice and career development issues. Design/methodology/approach - The methodological approach taken to the research was qualitative and used a series of in-depth interviews with 22 shop managers. Findings - The research found that charity retail management serves an important purpose for many women in the transition from the home to working environment. It provides the balance necessary to effectively combine the multiple role demands between personal and professional lives. Career success for these managers was less to do with occupational status or income, but encompassed the satisfaction, autonomy, challenge and self-fulfillment the job presented them. As such, the majority had little interest in progressing their careers linearly but were contented with other forms of career development. Research limitations/implications - Being an exploratory study, the results are not generalisable to the population. A quantitative research methodology could be utilized to test the findings of this paper and enable researchers to draw firmer conclusions. Originality/value - The findings of this research may aid recruitment and selection practices for the future recruitment and development of charity shop managers.

Careers; Charities; Managers; Retail management; Shops

Career Development International: Volume 10, Issue 2

Publication date31/12/2005