Female City Managers in Texas: A Content Analysis of Resumes to Identify Successful Career Path Trends
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This research study describes the career paths most often taken by currently serving (October 2015) female city managers in Texas. City management career paths can be classified into four categories: Long Servers, Ladder Climbers, Lateral Movers, and Single-City Careerists (Watson & Hassett, 2004a). This study identifies 64 female city managers in Texas, 41 of whom submitted their resumes to be included in this study. A content analysis was performed on their resumes in order to classify their career paths. The “traditional” career path to becoming city manager is ladder climbing; one works her way up in one city and then moves to another city for a more prestigious position, and continues this pattern until becoming city manager. This study’s results indicate that most female city managers in Texas are not Ladder Climbers. Rather, they are classified as Single-City Careerists; they serve in small to medium-sized cities and work their way up in one municipal organization until they obtain the city manager position.