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Robin Martin-Jones

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In pursuing a career in financial services Robin Martin-Jones went on to start with a fortune 500 company after graduation. Her decision to join a larger firm seems to be motivated by the following, it would offer many opportunities in the way of career advancement. It subsequently leads to Robin being selected to continue in her studies in an MBA program, in which she excelled. Following these events, she seemed to be on track one promotion after another.

In further giving an overview or description, the one thing that is sometimes overlooked is there are dual responsibilities working in this case. Robin need to except her part in the downfall of this business relationship and not just blame the company. In the three year after coming back to work from family leave, a pattern was forming. She was passed over several times for promotion, Robin was slow in making her decision to part company with the firm, this left the company with the contention that she was content up until that point. He inability to effectively communicate with the company left her with no way out conclusion.


Now with a little different perspective lets look at the diagnosis, it has been brought to my attention that the lack of action on Robins part on a consistent basis, in large part, helped her settle into her role that the company expected of her. Robins apathy or somewhat complacent concern, her dissatisfaction did not surface in full until she appeared to have taken enough and by that time there were very little options. So the final diagnosis is, Robin would have to move on to even have a chance of achieving her aspirations had been coming out of college.

Robin Martin-Jones 3

Role theory is a perspective in sociology and social psychology that considers most of everyday activity to be the acting out of socially defined categories (e.g., mother, manager, teacher). In the case of Robin, we can reduce it to the company level. A classmate of mine, Mary Muller points out in this statement “I can see it being labeled a perception problem, discrimination, or the Role Theory” Her statement is true though society labels things, it is seen as discrimination by some people’s perception, and as the norm by others. The” Role Theory” applies, because although Robin was being told she was doing a great job, and overachieving, the company had a different role planned for her when hired before taking family leave.

In going out on family leave, she now portrayed in the societal role of a woman in the work place, having kids and spending less time at work and more on their family. In researching this case, It was felt the purpose was to find a theory that most explains the final result. In the next paragraph, I will discuss what is know as the “Glass Ceiling,.” Though not a theory, it plays a big part in helping one understand how Robins perceived role come into play.

“A glass ceiling is a political term used to describe “the unseen, yet unbreachable barrier that keeps minorities and women from rising to the upper rungs of the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualifications or achievements.” If a person were to look to all the fortune 500 companies one would not find a high percentage of CEO’S. This quote sends a message progress is very slow in changing with the times.”In 2008, only 6.2% of Fortune 500’s top earners were women.

Five years later, in 2013, the number jumped only slightly to 8.1%” (Vagianos, 2013). Weather or not this glass ceiling exists in writing it was serious enough the government formed a committee “In 1991, the Federal Glass Ceiling Commission was established to gather information and study opportunities for and barriers to advancement for women and minorities”( Napikoski). Therefore, this can be seen as amplifying by adding the fact that Robin took family leave and returned to the company illustrated by the following quote. “Other practical glass ceiling matters include unequal pay rates and the idea that women lose out on involvement in an organization if they take maternity leave” ( Napikoski). In the end, it just may be the fact that she never got all the companies policies out in the open, but one can be sure no one would have told her raising a family would stunt the growth of her career.

Furthermore, My classmates offered other theories which could be seen as a contributing theory and in the next several paragraphs, these theories will be broken down and discussed.

“Attribution theory states that there are internal and external explanations for work-family and family-work conflict.”(King, 2005). This applies,because it explains that most of the internal reason go back to our understanding of the traditional roles based on society’s and our own individual perceptions. Depending on you learned perception, it can be passed off as that’s the way it is, in a naive way, or a deliberate way, either way it applies to this situation.

Equity Theory, although her feeling of inequity did probably strongly apply in the end. This also played a part in her departure, this was a result of the chain reaction of events, and not the main theory. For Robin to get to this point she would have had to pass through a multitude of stages created by her expected role with the company.

Self-efficacy-theory “is the extent or strength of one’s belief in one’s own ability to complete tasks and reach goals,”(Wikipedia, 2014). This does apply to her way of thinking and was first discovered after she realized there were limitations based on the perception of her role in society and most of all with the company. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this can be seen as another byproduct of the process.

Balanced Identity Theory, Balance Theory is a motivational theory of attitude change, proposed by Fritz Heider, It conceptualizes the cognitive constancy motive as a drive toward psychological balance ( wikipedia.org, 2014). In researching this, I found that this theory applied in relation to Robin not feeling she had a good physiological balance, and in this particular case has all the framework that applies. She further felt that she sacrificed her self-respect, in excepting this situation, and this is one of the main ingredients of this theory. This caused Robin to feel she hit the glass ceiling, a lot of emotions engulfed her and at this time. In further discussing of theory, anyone of the above would have applied , but I felt it was our job to identify the theory the initial small snowball that became the giant one at the bottom of the hill.


It would appear that the short term prescription is right on point by a jury of my peers, In this case Robin would have to work backwards talking with her supervisor asking questions she should have asked in the beginning. These questions already should have been discussed but now must be addressed. What is the policy does the company u have regarding child care? Does the company have flexible hours for employees with children? Does the company offer family support? Will I still be able to be promoted within the company? Addressing this situation at this point will give her some idea and negotiate some family time in a compromise with the business. So could get a better understanding of her role going forward if she decides to stay in the company.

Long term prescription redefined, in my attempt to be respectful of the feedback I received it seems that my long term prescription was unclear. Long term, the company, needs to revamp their hiring process and have the company policies spelled out clearly. Furthermore, have the company human resources employees trained to truly understand these programs is not just a matter of lip service, but put in place to reflect the changing times. Long term for Robin Number one be better prepared next time and be willing to ask the tough questions for a better result in the future.

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There are some companies that may not have clearly family benefits, but also the individuals in question may still not be willing to discuss this at the start for fear of not being offered the job. So in the end the fallout would be seen as having to start over at this point in her career with family already in tow leaving her fewer options. The fallout for the company is due this lack of prior discussion or clearly stated intentions they have lost a valuable contributor to their business. Even with this said the most common fallout that can be see is sometimes people paint a picture based on the applicants preconceived notions. It seems that another possibility of fallout is that the company will not see their part in this and repeat the process, and Robin will do the same.


Vagianos, A. (2013, December 11). There are still few women at the top of fortune 500 companies, says report. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/11/women-in-leadership-roles_n_4418725.html

Napikoski, L. (n.d.). Glass ceiling for women invisible workplace barriers. Retrieved from http://womenshistory.about.com/od/feminism/a/glass_ceiling_women.htm

Self-efficacy. (2014, April 23). Wikipedia. Retrieved April 20, 2014, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-efficacy

King, J. (2005). Research Review: Work-Family/Family-Work Conflict. International Journal of Leadership Studies, 1. Pgs. 102-105


Balance theory. (2014, April 18). Wikipedia. Retrieved April 20, 2014, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balance_theory

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