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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2003

Rosemary Crompton and Nicky Le Feuvre

It is a well established fact that the entry of women into higher‐level professional occupations has not resulted in their equal distribution within these occupations. Indeed, the…

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Abstract

It is a well established fact that the entry of women into higher‐level professional occupations has not resulted in their equal distribution within these occupations. Indeed, the emergence and persistence of horizontal and vertical gender segregation within the professions has been at the heart of the development of a range of alternative theoretical perspectives on both the “feminisation process” and the future of the “professions”more generally. Through an in‐depth comparative analysis of the recent changes in the organisation and administration of the medical profession in Britain and France, this paper draws upon statistical data and biographical interviews with male and female general practitioners (GPs) in both countries in order to discuss and review a variety of approaches that have been adopted to explain and analyse the “eminisation” process of higher‐level professions. Our conclusions review the theoretical debates in the light of the evidence we have presented. It is argued that, despite important elements of continuity in respect of gendered occupational structuring in both countries, national variations in both professional and domestic gendered architectures lead to different outcomes as far as the extent and patterns of internal occupational segregation are concerned. Both female and male doctors are currently seeking – with some effect – to resist thepressures of medicine on family life.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 23 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 January 2009

Nicky Le Feuvre

In recent years, several countries and/or higher education institutions have adopted equal opportunity policies to promote women's access to the upper levels of the academic…

1492

Abstract

Purpose

In recent years, several countries and/or higher education institutions have adopted equal opportunity policies to promote women's access to the upper levels of the academic career structure. The purpose of this paper is to argue that there is no universal solution to the glass ceiling that women face within academia. Insofar as the feminisation process evolves according to a variety of models, according to national and occupational context, the solutions adopted in one context may prove to be ineffective elsewhere.

Design/methodology/approach

Analysis of the different models of occupational feminisation is based on a secondary analysis of the sociological literature on the subject, combined with recent data on women's access to academic positions in France and Germany.

Findings

Although there are similarities in the structure of the academic labour market across countries and in the rate of feminisation of the most prestigious academic positions, the precise mechanisms through which women gain access to an academic career vary significantly from one national context to another. This cross‐national variation would tend to suggest that there will also be variation when it comes to defining the most effective policy measures for increasing women's access to the upper echelons of the academic hierarchy. Indeed, different models of gender equality in academia may lead to very different results with regard to existing gender relations.

Originality/value

The paper uses the available sociological literature on the feminisation process to examine how different measures adopted to promote women's access to the highest echelons of the academic career structure may have different effects on the reproduction and/or transformation of the dominant sex/gender system.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2003

Nathalie Lapeyre

Parallel to the increase in the number of women taking up medical careers, the reform of the 3rd cycle of medical studies in France has brought about some changes in professional…

Abstract

Parallel to the increase in the number of women taking up medical careers, the reform of the 3rd cycle of medical studies in France has brought about some changes in professional norms. The traditional model of general practitioner (GP) practice usually refers to a totally dedicated male doctor, with the domestic support of a female carer. For many women doctors this model of reference clashes head on with the traditional division of the roles between women and men. The current forms of the “social contract between the sexes” are questioned and women GPs introduce specific (time) strategies for managing medical practice and family life.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 23 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 March 2015

Nicky Le Feuvre, Morgane Kuehni, Magdalena Rosende and Céline Schoeni

The purpose of this paper is to examine the gendered processes of ageing at work in Switzerland, a country already characterised by particularly high employment rates for seniors…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the gendered processes of ageing at work in Switzerland, a country already characterised by particularly high employment rates for seniors of both sexes, and where the notion of “active ageing” has recently appeared on the policy agenda. The study illustrates the mechanisms through which men and women accumulate dis-/advantage across the life course, and the influence that critical events in different life domains have on the conditions under which they prepare the transition to retirement.

Design/methodology/approach

The data used in the paper were collected with a mixed methods approach, including secondary statistical data analysis, expert interviews (with human resource and line managers), company case studies and 63-biographical interviews with male and female seniors employed in three different sectors (food distribution, health, transport) of the Swiss labour market. The interview guide covered issues relating directly to the employment histories and working conditions of the over 50s, but also enabled respondents to reflect on the influence of past or recent events in their private lives on their experiences of ageing at work (and vice versa).

Findings

The study shows that, in the Swiss context, ageing at work is a social experience, that is profoundly marked by societal-level normative “gender scripts” and by the gendered nature of major life-course transitions. However, rather than producing a clear distinction between the experiences of men on the one hand and women on the other, studying the accumulation of dis-/advantages (Dannefer, 2009) enables us to elaborate a more nuanced typology, mapping the Swiss experience of ageing at work according to four alternative ideal-type models: confident, resentful, determined and distressed.

Social implications

In a context characterised by prolonged life expectancy and restricted welfare budgets, a clearer understanding of the conditions under which men and women make decisions about the continuation, interruption or adaptation of their professional activities (and care commitments) in the second half of their adult lives has clear implications, both for patterns of “active ageing” and for gender equality.

Originality/value

The paper sheds new light on the gendered variations in the experience of ageing at work in the Swiss context; it examines the implications of the dis-/advantages accumulated by different categories of men and women during various transitions in the employment and family spheres on their autonomy, well-being and satisfaction during this critical period of their adult lives.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2003

Birgit Blättel‐Mink and Ellen Kuhlmann

Changing market conditions, new modes of labour and decreasing legitimisation of experts, as well as an increasing ratio of women, pose new challenges to the professions. These…

1050

Abstract

Changing market conditions, new modes of labour and decreasing legitimisation of experts, as well as an increasing ratio of women, pose new challenges to the professions. These ongoing dynamics are especially visible in the health care system – a traditional professional field with strongly formalised rules governing entrance, initiation and career paths. In addition, this field is highly segregated according to sexes. How do the bove‐mentioned processes of change present themselves and what economic, social or structural factors cause them? What role does gender play within these processes? What potential lies in the re‐structuring processes of health care systems as far as a gender equal architecture and design of professions is concerned? These and other questions are addressed in this collection of papers. For the main part they grew out of a thematic focus event organised and coordinated by the editors for the 5th Conference of the European Sociological Association (ESA) Research Network Sociology of Professions that was held in 2001 in Helsinki. Inspired by the richness of the research results on professions and gender in health care systems in various European countries and new horizons which opened up from the comparative perspective in different countries, professions, and theoretical approaches, and finally motivated by very constructive ensuing discussions, we decided to continue the discussion with a publication.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 23 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 January 2008

Birgit Blättel‐Mink

This article aims to address topical issues in the debate on gender (in)equality in higher education in Europe and beyond, and highlights future perspectives of research and…

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Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to address topical issues in the debate on gender (in)equality in higher education in Europe and beyond, and highlights future perspectives of research and practice.

Design/methodology/approach

It is based on a conference report of the 5th European Conference on Gender Equality in Higher Education that was hosted by Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, 28‐31 August 2007.

Findings

Number matters (“wore women into science”), but quality matters more: more women are needed in top positions in higher education, science, technology and engineering, and more female participation in higher education decision‐making processes. It is necessary to reveal gender biases of recent strategies in higher education. Exclusion happens also among women; an intersectional approach is therefore called for, which includes primary and secondary educations as well as labour market and careers in the academe.

Practical implications

Equality programmes have to consider the diversity of gender in higher education and to strengthen women's lobbying in European education and science politics.

Originality/value

This conference brought together about 350 participants from 56 countries. Thus, it provided an excellent opportunity for knowledge exchange with European scholars and beyond, which is reported in this paper.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 9 January 2009

Birgit Blattel-Mink, Caroline Kramer and Anina Mischau

482

Abstract

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

Article
Publication date: 7 November 2008

Clare Lyonette and Rosemary Crompton

The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief summary of a series of papers presented at the gender, class, employment and family conference, held at City University, London, in…

1047

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief summary of a series of papers presented at the gender, class, employment and family conference, held at City University, London, in March 2008.

Design/methodology/approach

The conference involved 25 papers presented by invited speakers, and the report is based on summary notes, observations and conference abstracts.

Findings

This report summarises a range of contributions, theoretical and empirical, to the continuing debates on gender and class inequality in Britain, Europe and the USA. The evidence presented not only demonstrated the persistence of gender and class inequalities, but also provided a critique of the “individualisation” thesis. The contribution of both normative and material factors to gender inequality was extensively explored. The discussions focused upon a series of tensions and contradictions – between “sameness” and “difference” feminism; choice and constraint; capitalist markets and the human requirement for caring work.

Originality/value

Many of the papers drew on original empirical research, both quantitative and qualitative, using sophisticated methodologies. Longitudinal findings (cohort studies) were well represented, as were cutting‐edge theoretical contributions.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 27 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 January 2009

Kordula Kugele

This conference review aims to address major issues regarding the position of women in science and technology as well as key technical topics in the debate of globalisation with a…

1419

Abstract

Purpose

This conference review aims to address major issues regarding the position of women in science and technology as well as key technical topics in the debate of globalisation with a specific focus on chances and new opportunities for women in a changing world.

Design/methodology/approach

The article is based on a report on the 14th International Conference of Women Engineers and Scientists that was hosted by the Conceil National des Ingénieurs et des Scientifiques de France (CNISF). Organised by an international committee, the conference was held at the Polytech University in Lille, France, 15‐18 July 2008.

Research limitations/implications

The exchanges generated by such an international gathering of (mostly) women experts and scholars from diverse scientific fields were a rich source of learning and inspiration. In view of the fact that the lectures not only addressed the current situation but focused also on the development of an international vision and new opportunities for women in a globalised world, the conference will influence science policies and measures for equal opportunities.

Originality/value

The conference brought together over 500 participants from 60 countries.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 June 2015

Xavier Salamin and Eric Davoine

Reasons for women’s underrepresentation in international assignments include stereotypical assumptions within organizations about their ability to adjust abroad and more broadly a…

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Abstract

Purpose

Reasons for women’s underrepresentation in international assignments include stereotypical assumptions within organizations about their ability to adjust abroad and more broadly a lack of trust from the corporate headquarters. Female expatriates’ adjustment may strongly vary depending on the host country and on host-country nationals’ attitudes toward them. Yet up until today, very few studies have examined female expatriate adjustment in a single and non-Asian host country. The purpose of this paper is to address this gap by comparing the cross-cultural adjustment of male and female expatriates in Switzerland.

Design/methodology/approach

This study replicates Selmer and Leung’s (2003a) study design in order to compare adjustment of male and female expatriates working in multinational companies in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Based on 152 valid questionnaires collected, the authors performed a multivariate analysis of covariance and further analyses of covariance to compare male and female expatriate adjustment.

Findings

The authors find that female expatriates have significantly higher interaction and work adjustment levels than their male counterparts, while no significant differences between men and women were observed in terms of general adjustment. These findings in a European context are consistent with those of Selmer and Leung in an Asian context.

Originality/value

Very few studies to date have examined the adjustment of female expatriates in a western host-country context, despite the fact that host-country cultural norms might strongly influence women’s experiences. The research brings new empirical evidence about cross-cultural adjustment of female and male expatriates in a western location. Contrary to persistent stereotypical assumptions, results emphasize again that women are able to adjust better or at least as well as their male counterparts.

Details

Journal of Global Mobility, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-8799

Keywords

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