Building a career: gender and employment in a male-dominated profession

Caven, Valerie. (1999) Building a career: gender and employment in a male-dominated profession. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Models of employment have become gendered with the 'standard' or masculine model following an unbroken, linear career path whilst the feminine model comprises periods of both full-time and part-time employment as well as intervals of non-participation in the labour market. Commitment to work is defined against these norms with those women who follow the masculine career pattern being said to display greater commitment to work than those who follow an alternative path. It is considered that career progression within an organisational hierarchy is dependent upon following the ‘standard' type of career path, which disadvantages women as historically they have been less likely than men to follow such a path.

This thesis argues that there has been an over reliance on such explanations to illustrate and justify women's employment. Such studies patronise women by imposing these explanations on them without work being done to investigate women's own evaluations of their employment. The aim of this research is to examine the working arrangements of a group of highly qualified professional women architects who 'fit' the profile of high commitment to their career by their investment in qualifications. They work in an established 'traditional' profession in what is still very much a 'man's world'. The research aims to go deeper than just to confirm or disconfirm the stereotypes or profile. Within the structural and cultural components that form the profile, it examines the paths the women have taken, how they have progressed through their working and family lives, the choices and sacrifices they have made. In short, it explores not 'what' they have done but 'how' and 'why' they have done it.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Rowlinson, M.
Proctor, S.
Keywords: Women, employment, women architects, work and family
Subjects: H Social sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > Nottingham University Business School
Item ID: 11728
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2010 12:04
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2016 07:24

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