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Doing gender equality and undoing gender inequality—A practice theory perspective
University of Borås, Faculty of Textiles, Engineering and Business.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3988-913X
2022 (English)In: Gender, Work and Organization, ISSN 0968-6673, E-ISSN 1468-0432Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Sustainable development
According to the author(s), the content of this publication falls within the area of sustainable development.
Abstract [en]

Many of the efforts made by organizations to deal with gender inequalities fail to have the desired impact. This is not only because these efforts are undermined by individu-als who disagree with them, nor because individuals do not perceive gender inequalities to be a problem. Rather, the issue is that gender equality practices may be embedded in an organizational context where other practices counteract gender equality. By means of a 17-month-long ethnographic study conducted at a technical university in Sweden, the interaction between gender equality practices and gender inequality practices has been identified. It is shown that gender equality practices are themselves based on either questionable assumptions (e.g., that increasing the number of women in senior roles will make a difference), or in an attempt to avoid blaming the victim, on reducing the salience of gendered categorization from which gendered inequali-ties can be adequately challenged. By focusing on the nexus of practices that move beyond equality work, two practices that undermine gender equality work have been identified, that is, a data-driven approach to change work and a pref-erence for simple solutions. The conclusion drawn alerts us to the fact that even practices that do not seem related to gender equality work can have an impact on the success or failure of the gender equality work of the organization. This in turn may imply that the institutionalized underpinnings of the organization need to be changed, for example, the belief that more data will help us to find more solutions, or that there are practices out there that can be implemented to wash away gender inequality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022.
Keywords [en]
academia, gender equality, inequality practices, practice theory, STEM
National Category
Social Sciences Business Administration Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-29002DOI: 10.1111/gwao.12935ISI: 000890236800001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85143440646OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-29002DiVA, id: diva2:1715405
Available from: 2022-12-01 Created: 2022-12-01 Last updated: 2024-02-01

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(397 kB)193 downloads
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Publisher's full textScopushttps://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/gwao.12935

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Grzelec, Anna
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