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It has been suggested that organisations with a better balance, or critical mass, of women would be more tolerant of difference and foster the inclusion of other women…
It has been suggested that organisations with a better balance, or critical mass, of women would be more tolerant of difference and foster the inclusion of other women. This paper seeks to investigate whether a strategy of critical mass can really work in the engineering sector.
The data are based on research funded by the ESRC, and problematise critical mass theory through semi‐structured qualitative interviews and focus groups with female students from a range of engineering disciplines.
The findings demonstrate that women engineering students accept gender discrimination, view the industry positively, value their “novelty” status, and are critical of other women.
While these attitudes may be a result of women's assimilation into the existing engineering culture, they do little to further women's cause in engineering. Furthermore, it points to both the necessity, and difficulties, of transforming the engineering culture to ensure that the engineering professions are a place where women can not only survive but also thrive.
While previous research has addressed the critical mass of women in science, engineering and technology, this research critiques critical mass theory, not only because women continue to remain isolated within the sector, despite increasing numbers, but also because many women engineers reinforce the masculine culture within engineering.
There have been a number of significant research projects that have explored aspects of women’s under‐representation and underachievement within the UK construction…
There have been a number of significant research projects that have explored aspects of women’s under‐representation and underachievement within the UK construction industry. These have demonstrated that, given an appropriate level of knowledge and insight, women could be attracted to the sector in greater numbers. However, they have also suggested that if women are to remain in the sector in the long‐term, then efforts must be made to ensure an equitable workplace environment. Presents the findings of research that explored the attitudes of both male and female construction professionals to a range of equality measures. There was a significant difference between their responses to most of the measures, as men were opposed to initiatives that threatened the current culture of the industry’s operating environment. A strategy of selectively implementing measures with some degree of consensus between men and women is suggested. Measures to promote equality in construction must offer mutual benefits to men and women if they are to be successful.
In order to retain and motivate employees, organizations must respond to their expectations, both in terms of meeting formal aspects of their employment contracts and in…
In order to retain and motivate employees, organizations must respond to their expectations, both in terms of meeting formal aspects of their employment contracts and in addressing their less formal expectations of the employment relationship. Within the current human resources management (HRM) literature, these informal expectations are known as psychological contracts. This paper reports on research that explored psychological contracts within the construction industry. In‐depth interviews were held with more than 80 construction managers and professional staff who worked for five large UK contracting organizations. The interviewees were asked to describe their career histories, and to discuss any tensions between the personnel policies of their organizations and their personal career aspirations and expectations. It emerged that responsibility for human resource development (HRD) had been largely devolved to divisional and operational management. This led to HRD becoming fragmented and unresponsive, and to employees becoming disillusioned by their employers' failure to meet their expectations. It is argued that construction companies require a more sophisticated understanding of their employees' expectations of the employment relationship if they are to be retained in the long term.
The UK construction industry has significantly increased the number of women that it attracts, due to an active marketing campaign by the industry’s representative bodies…
The UK construction industry has significantly increased the number of women that it attracts, due to an active marketing campaign by the industry’s representative bodies. However, this initiative does not appear to have been based on sound empirical evidence that women professionals will be afforded equal opportunities once they have entered the industry. This article reports on a research project which explored women’s careers in construction. Interviews were held with over 40 matched pairs of male and female construction professionals in order to establish the gender differentiated influences on career progression within the industry. The analysis revealed a hostile and discriminatory environment for women, in which pressures created by the demanding work environment were compounded by overt resentment from male managers and colleagues. It is argued that women’s careers are unlikely to progress in parity with men’s until the male culture of the industry has been moderated.
This study of women “pioneer” priests in the Church of England was to gain further information on women in a non‐traditional, male‐dominated occupation. Uniquely prior to…
This study of women “pioneer” priests in the Church of England was to gain further information on women in a non‐traditional, male‐dominated occupation. Uniquely prior to 1994, women were barred from entry to the priesthood altogether, and are still debarred from the top of the Church hierarchy.
A national conference for all Diocesan Advisers in Women's Ministry offered the opportunity of surveying 31senior and experienced women priests from across England. They completed an extended open‐ended questionnaire. Agreeing to take up these posts made these women somewhat self‐selecting and not necessarily representative. Also it would be useful to gather data on male clergy experiences for comparison.
Given their long bitter struggle to be ordained, these women were older, and had more experience than other women in non‐traditional occupations. They did experience a deeply gendered organisation, both through structural disadvantage and cultural hostility. However, most report that becoming a priest has impacted positively on their self‐confidence and positive identity. They see themselves making changes to the gendered regime of the Church, challenging what it means to be a priest through their presence, language, and symbols.
The findings of this study have important policy implications. The Church's recruitment and selection processes need to change to ensure openness, fairness and transparency. Family friendly policies need to be introduced, including flexible working and job sharing possibilities open to both women and men. Also, the Church needs to make clear its disapproval of discrimination and unacceptable behaviour towards women priests.
The paper provides information on women working in a non‐traditional male‐dominated occupation.
We evaluate the use of metaphors in academic literature on women in academia. Utilizing the work of Husu (2001) and the concept of intersectionality, we explore the ways…
We evaluate the use of metaphors in academic literature on women in academia. Utilizing the work of Husu (2001) and the concept of intersectionality, we explore the ways in which notions of structure and/or agency are reflected in metaphors and the consequences of this.
The research comprised an analysis of 113 articles on women in academia and a subanalysis of 17 articles on women in Political Science published in academic journals between 2004 and 2013.
In the case of metaphors about academic institutions, the most popular metaphors are the glass ceiling, the leaky pipeline, and the old boys’ network, and, in the case of metaphors about women academics, strangers/outsiders and mothers/housekeepers.
Usage of metaphors in the literature analyzed suggests that the literature often now works with a more nuanced conception of the structure/agency problematic than at the time Husu was writing: instead of focusing on either structures or agents in isolation, the literature has begun to look more critically at the interplay between them, although this may not be replicated at a disciplinary level.
We highlight the potential benefits of interdependent metaphors which are able to reflect more fully the structurally situated nature of (female) agency. These metaphors, while recognizing the (multiple and intersecting) structural constraints that women may face both within and outwith the academy, are able to capture more fully the different forms female power and agency can take. Consequently, they contribute both to the politicization of problems that female academics may face and to the stimulation of collective responses for a fairer and better academy.
Next year the Civil Service celebrates twenty‐five years of equal opportunity policy. Linked to a formal structure designed to promote the ablest individuals, this policy should be showing encouraging results, but, as Celia Temple reports, there is little to get excited about.