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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2020

Namrata Gupta

It is well-known that women scientists are few in numbers in prestigious research organizations and still fewer in leadership positions. The purpose of this article is to…

Abstract

Purpose

It is well-known that women scientists are few in numbers in prestigious research organizations and still fewer in leadership positions. The purpose of this article is to analyze how organizational gender inequality is rationalized by scientists so as to highlight how discourse on equality reproduces gender at the workplace.

Design/methodology/approach

Data was collected through semi-structured face-to-face interviews with the scientists in four research laboratories dealing with medicinal drugs and chemical substances. It uses discourse analysis by Foucault as a theoretical lens to examine how gender inequality is rationalized and the power relations behind it. It adopts the perspective that socio-cultural beliefs form the basis of gendered practices in organizations.

Findings

It finds that the scientists refuse to blame the organization for inequalities by delinking gender issues from the organizational domain. This delinking occurs through rationalizing gender inequality as “social”, through separating informal behavior from the “system” and perceiving women as “privileged”. Such discourses while keeping intact the rationality and meritocracy of the organizations/institutions, reproduce the ideological “public-private dichotomy” and the male dominance at the workplace.

Practical implications

The findings indicate the need for extensive studies in India highlighting how gender is done in organizations, exploring men's role in undoing gender and government initiatives to create a climate of gender equality.

Originality/value

It highlights how discourse on gender equality/inequality at the workplace manifests dominance of men and represents an intersection of Indian social, organizational and institutional contexts at workplace. It also calls into question the applicability of the western concepts of “individualization” and “gender fatigue” to the Indian context.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 39 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 April 2017

Namrata Gupta

Since liberalization in the 1990s, India has witnessed a growth in the number of educated middle-class women in professions. However, there are few women in leadership…

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2333

Abstract

Purpose

Since liberalization in the 1990s, India has witnessed a growth in the number of educated middle-class women in professions. However, there are few women in leadership positions and decision-making bodies. While the earlier notion of the ideal woman as homemaker has been replaced by one which idealizes women of substance, a woman’s role in the family continues to be pivotal and is even viewed as central in defining Indian culture. The purpose of this paper is to analyze how and to what extent gender inequalities are reproduced in the organizations employing educated professionals.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the perspective that gender is socially constructed, this paper analyzes gender inequality in Indian organizations through semi-structured interviews of men and women scientists in two private pharmaceutical laboratories.

Findings

The findings show reproduction of a gendered normative order through two types of norms and practices: one, norms and practices that favor men and second, socio-cultural norms that devalue women in public spaces which help to maintain masculinity in the workplace. Although these practices might be found elsewhere in the world, the manner in which they are enacted reflects national cultural norms.

Originality/value

The paper highlights how various norms and practices enacted in the specific Indian socio-cultural context construct and maintain masculinity at workplace depriving opportunities to professional women which affect their rise to leadership positions.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 36 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1987

Sarla Sharma

A brief historical account of women in science is given as introduction to discussion of their present situation in the USA. Factors affecting female achievement and…

Abstract

A brief historical account of women in science is given as introduction to discussion of their present situation in the USA. Factors affecting female achievement and interest in science and in scientific careers include education, socio‐cultural and personal factors. Obstacles and constraints for women during preparation for scientific professions are also described together with myths about women and recent trends. Strategies for increasing their participation are proposed.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Article
Publication date: 26 March 2010

Suzan Lewis and Anne Laure Humbert

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of flexible working arrangements (FWAs) and particularly reduced hours working arrangements on a Dual Agenda of gender…

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9532

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of flexible working arrangements (FWAs) and particularly reduced hours working arrangements on a Dual Agenda of gender equity and workplace effectiveness, in a case study organization employing a relatively high proportion of women scientists.

Design/methodology/approach

In‐depth interviews based on the initial stages of collaborative interactive action research (CIAR) are used within a case‐study approach. The interviews explored working practices, the assumptions underpinning them and their un/intended consequences.

Findings

The main form of FWA used in the organization, four days a week, is double edged and complex in its effects. It supports mothers, but at a cost because of gendered assumptions. Despite a commitment to flexibility and “work‐life balance”, the gendered construction of the ideal worker and ideas of competence conflated with hegemonic masculinity, remain powerful. This, together with a prevalent “good mother” ideology, undermines both gender equity and workplace effectiveness.

Practical implications

This paper is of value to both researchers and policy makers. It shows that highly developed work‐life balance or flexible working polices are not sufficient to enhance gender equity and points to the importance of surfacing and challenging gender assumptions in science, engineering and technology. It emphasizes the need to move forward from policy to practice.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to a growing body of work using initial stages of the CIAR methodology and showcases the theoretical insights gained by such an approach.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2006

Jennifer M. Kidd and Frances Green

This study seeks to identify some of the factors that explain biomedical research scientists' career commitment and that prompt them to consider leaving science. It also…

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6033

Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to identify some of the factors that explain biomedical research scientists' career commitment and that prompt them to consider leaving science. It also aims to examine whether these factors differ between men and women, and between those with different family responsibilities.

Design/methodology/approach

A longitudinal questionnaire survey was used to identify the demographic and work‐related variables that predicted three dimensions of career commitment and intention to leave science one year later.

Findings

The factors explaining career commitment and intention to remain in the profession were similar for men and women, for those with various types of family responsibilities, and for those on permanent and temporary contracts. Career planning was predicted by continuance organizational commitment and the opportunity for autonomy in the workplace, and career resilience by equitable treatment at work. Career identity, career resilience and salary were predictors of intention to leave science.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations of the study include the lack of a random sample, and the fact that some instruments differ slightly from the original versions. A substantial proportion of the variance in intention to leave science was unexplained and further research should therefore explore the impact of career entrenchment, professional socialisation and aspects of personal disposition on intention to leave a profession.

Practical implications

Those who manage scientists' careers should attend particularly to pay, providing opportunities for working autonomously, and fair treatment.

Originality/value

A longitudinal design was used and some key workplace variables were studied. Unlike most previous studies, the moderating effects of gender, relationship status and parenthood were examined.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 20 February 2007

Daiga Kamerāsde

The paper aims to critically review four recently published books, each of which aims to explain the disproportionate representation of men and women in science careers…

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1443

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to critically review four recently published books, each of which aims to explain the disproportionate representation of men and women in science careers, and to understand gender differences in achievements and productivity.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a thematic book review and conceptual analysis and development.

Findings

The review shows that in order to reduce and eliminate gender inequality in science careers, it is naïve to assume that changing women's attitudes alone will solve the problem. This position in‐itself indicates the unspoken presumption that the male model of work is the norm to which women must adapt.

Originality/value

The review shows there is a need for policy actions and initiatives that eliminate the structural barriers in SET career trajectories which currently favour the working preferences of male scientists.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Women in Leadership 2nd Edition
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-064-8

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2020

Holly Hilboldt Swain

Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor describes the life of Joan Beauchamp Procter, renowned herpetologist, zoologist, Curator of Reptiles at the British Museum and designer of the…

Abstract

Purpose

Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor describes the life of Joan Beauchamp Procter, renowned herpetologist, zoologist, Curator of Reptiles at the British Museum and designer of the London Zoo Reptile House. In this lesson, students reframe initial viewpoints of scientists that are not representative of a broad understanding of who scientists are and what being a scientist means. Exploring understandings and expanding their view of science to include varied areas of social sciences provokes deep discussions among students as they prepare to teach others. Using content area skills, artwork, writing, literacy and technology, students explore diverse people and fields of the sciences.

Design/methodology/approach

Students engage in collaborative efforts with peers to involve themselves with content knowledge and skills in the social studies, as they integrate other areas of the curriculum including science, art, writing, literacy, literature, technology, critical thinking, research skills and inquiry-based learning. Findings include students participating in meaningful learning individually and collectively through inquiry. As students learn with and from one another, they conceptualize their own ideas through their own work in exploring relevant resources. Students plan action to move learning outside the classroom in generating changes in museums and monuments to showcase broader cultural representation of scientists in their communities.

Findings

Students engage in inquiry learning using Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor as a key text. Students explore the text and related resources, while learning with one another about scientists. Students expand their content knowledge and apply critical thinking skills, noting similarities and differences in scientists, ultimately acknowledging that what scientists do through inquiry and exploration helps them identify as scientists. Varied fields and backgrounds of scientists are explored, and students examine cultural representation in museums commemorating scientists and scientific contributions. Students create action plans to consult with museums about these issues and curate exhibits, like Joan Procter, to share with others.

Originality/value

This lesson provides students multiple avenues to deepen learning while conceptualizing and formulating their own understandings. Further, students are required to use multiple skills in conveying their ideas for social change to reflect their new broader conceptualization of scientists and the many fields that science includes. Additionally, they have to understand the topics discussed fully in order to convey their research findings to another audience in their school or community as they create museum exhibits. Finally, while students learn, they begin to see themselves represented in fields through evident, inclusive demonstrations of contributions by diverse scientists.

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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…

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677

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

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Article
Publication date: 30 May 2019

Regina Kelly, Oliver McGarr, Louise Lehane and Sibel Erduran

The purpose of this paper is to identify whether or not females believe they associate with the culture of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify whether or not females believe they associate with the culture of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by investigating the perceptions of female students currently enroled in STEM courses.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents data from a survey on female STEM students’ “Perspectives of women in STEM”, “Parents’ Science qualification”, “Supports in their STEM Course” and their “Science identify” through a social capital lens. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to analyse the data.

Findings

The main findings were that female STEM undergraduates believe social bias, balancing work and family life and lack of role models are the main cause of less women in STEM professions and leadership positions. There were statistically significant differences between how male and female students identified with certain traits, with less females claiming to be intelligent and know about latest discoveries than males.

Research limitations/implications

To eradicate stereotypical views of scientists, it is recommended that Irish higher-education institutions introduce initiatives to increase the socialisation of STEM females within female networks and develop female students’ self-awareness of their own capabilities. The expansion of STEM networks could act as a means to facilitate female students adopting positive science identities, increasing their science capital.

Originality/value

In Ireland, there is a paucity of literature relating to females’ experience of STEM in higher education. This paper provides evidence that despite their engagement with STEM, female undergraduate students subscribe to the stereotypical image of the scientist. This study highlights the need to change the culture experienced by female STEM undergraduates in Ireland so as to improve the experiences and trajectories of women in higher education.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

Keywords

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