The purpose of this paper is to explore the motivations underlying the specialisation choices of six female specialist doctors working in Cape Town, South Africa and to…
The purpose of this paper is to explore the motivations underlying the specialisation choices of six female specialist doctors working in Cape Town, South Africa and to investigate whether the specific gender work identity associated with that specialism resulted in their motivation to enter it.
The research methodology comprised conducting semi‐structured interviews, where female medical doctors were asked to provide an account of their general experiences as medical doctors in a male‐dominated profession, as well as a more specific question related to their choice of specialisation.
These female medical specialists entered these so‐called soft specialisms mainly for three reasons: so‐called female‐friendly characteristics; exposure to, not necessarily fuelled by interest in, certain specialisms; and so‐called male characteristics.
The importance of such research is threefold as it has practical, social, and economic implications. The practical implications are evident in that a better understanding of the perceived gendered work identities has the potential to impact better retention and recruitment. The social implication is also important, as unchallenged gendered trends serve to perpetuate gender unequal outcomes in the wider society, which can be constraining or discriminatory. Lastly, an aspect which is not always considered is the fact that gender inequality is economically inefficient. The scientific value is found in the space it provides for reconsidering the relevance of the use of the terms “soft and hard” specialisms to explain the drivers of internal segregation in the medical profession.
The purpose of this editorial is to outline the historical and conceptual context in which the research into workplace learning as a research field is emerging.
The paper in an essayistic knowledge sociology perspective parallels developments in the nature of work and the growing interest in human resources, and hence learning. It confronts the general stereotypes of work with the actual multiplicity of different work domains.
The actual sample of articles is characterized briefly, drawing attention to the epistemological value of concrete studies of different learning experiences in different types of work.
The perspective of the editorial is mainly to spur the reflection of researchers in the field to the interrelation between theoretical issues and practical engagement in learning enterprises.