Situating gendered learning in the workplace

Lene Tanggaard (Faculty of Humanities, University of Aalborg, Aalborg, Denmark)

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Publication date: 1 June 2006



The purpose of this paper is to situate the concept of gendered learning in the workplace.


The paper presents the results of two closely related, qualitative studies of apprenticeship learning in two major industrial companies in Denmark.


The paper finds that the creation of a situated‐gendered “being” or “doing” in the workplace constitutes an important and often overlooked aspect of young people's learning processes in vocational training. Two themes of gender and learning are identified and discussed in an empirical analysis. These themes are learning and gendered identities, and gender and future family life.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is exploratory in nature, so that it would be useful to confirm the results through further validation and comparison with other professions and workplaces.

Practical implications

The design of proliferate learning practices in the workplace should consider gender as a factor which influences the trajectories of the individual learner.


The main thrust of the paper is that young people engaged in vocational training in the workplace are “gendered” through their participation in particular work and work‐related practices. The “telos” of learning in the context of vocational training in the workplace entails more than just the pursuit of a career trajectory or an occupational identity. The main contribution of the article is therefore its emphasis on the notion that theories on workplace and apprenticeship learning should consider a broader perspective on the learner than possible when focussing only on professional or occupational identity.



Tanggaard, L. (2006), "Situating gendered learning in the workplace", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 220-234.

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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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