Sociologists have documented how women in male-dominated occupations experience subtle and overt forms of discrimination based on gender stereotypes. This study examines women professional chefs to understand how they perceive and respond to stereotypes claiming women are not good leaders, are too emotional, and are not “cut out” for male-dominated work. Many of our participants resist these stereotypes and believe that their gender has benefited them in their jobs. Using in-depth interviews with women chefs, we show that they utilize essentialist gendered rhetoric to describe how women chefs are better than their male counterparts. While such rhetoric appears to support stereotypes emphasizing “natural” differences between men and women in the workplace, we suggest that women are reframing these discourses into a rhetoric of “feminine strength” wherein women draw from gender differences in ways that benefit them in their workplaces and their careers. Our conclusion discusses the implications of our findings for gender inequality at work.
Harris, D.A. and Giuffre, P.A. (2010), "“Not one of the guys”: women chefs redefining gender in the culinary industry", Williams, C.L. and Dellinger, K. (Ed.) Gender and Sexuality in the Workplace (Research in the Sociology of Work, Vol. 20), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 59-81. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0277-2833(2010)0000020006Download as .RIS
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