Organizational Hegemony: The Construction of Executive Women and Men as Different Workers in Corporate Britain

Dr. Michele Rene Gregory
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This presentation reports on an empirical study of the positioning of highly skilled women and men in the UK advertising and computing industries of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Within each industry there was a both a ‘dominant culture’ and a ‘support culture’, with some jobs more prestigious, better paid and male dominated and others peripheral and often female dominated. Moreover, there was also differentiation inside the dominant and the support culture in each industry, with women and men constructed as different sorts of workers and hence seen as better suited to particular jobs/locations. Although employers may present these as ‘essential’ characteristics, they are, in fact, socially constructed and part of the constant reconstruction of gender divisions.

Analysis of the processes of construction of gender and sexuality and work in both industries showed a number of constantly referenced themes. These could be grouped under three broad headings: homogeneity, homosociability and heterosexuality.

Keywords: Inequality, Gender, Organizations, Corporations, Management
Stream: Sexuality, Gender, Families
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Dr. Michele Rene Gregory

Assistant Professor of Sociology, Department of Social Sciences, York College/City University of New York
New York, NY, USA

Michele Gregory is currently an Assistant Professor of Sociology at York College of The City University of New York. Before becoming an academic, she spent ten years working for major financial institutions – Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Equitable Life Insurance and MetLife Insurance Company – in the areas of marketing and sales. She has a MSc from the London School of Economics and a PhD in Sociology from the University of London, Institute of Education. Her areas of interest are gender, sexuality, management, work, organizations and labor markets.

Ref: H06P0406