Conference Agenda

RN33_02a: Economic Relations: Work, Gender Equality and Empowerment
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Felizitas Sagebiel, Bergische University of Wuppertal
Location: BS.3.14
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Third Floor, North Atrium Oxford Road


Challenges and Strains in Couples’ Dual Career Management:The Persistent Impact of Gender at the Work Place. Empirical Evidence from Austria.

Gerlinde Mauerer

University of Vienna, Austria

Based on qualitative research in Austria (Mauerer 2018) I will present empirical research results on parents’ challenges and strains in managing the reconciliation of their career and family life. The results indicate the persistent power of traditional, male-dominated sex-gender-relations especially at the work place. Although reformed family policies in Austria have aimed at overcoming binary gender codes in parenting and careers by including partnership-oriented childcare benefits, effects still seem to be limited at parents’ workplaces.

The presented results derive from the following research projects: (1) qualitative-interpretative data deriving from two research projects on men’s realization of (long-term) parental leave in Austria (36 interviews with men on parental leave in Austria (2013-2014), and (2) two follow-up studies on female partner’s perspectives (12 interviews with female partners of men on parental leave, 2015), and parental part-time work (14 interviews with male and female parents, 2016).

Although individual couples strongly aimed at overcoming traditional gender barriers in managing their career and family life, their support at the work-place was weak in terms of going beyond traditional gender attributions in parenting. Moreover, the results revealed a higher level of gender equality in couples and families with a good financial background. This fact revealed a further, transnational gender impact, as many parents referred to informal female household help.

Concluding, long-lasting effects of economic power (inheritance, education, subsequent income conditions) and gender influences were identified, indicating several flaws in consistently promoting gender equality (with a focus on parental dual career management). Images of being a loyal worker and/or a responsible parent still entail a high gender impact and the perpetuation of gender disparities in men’s and women’s labor force participation.

Entrepreneurship and Women Empowerment: A Case Study of Women Entrepreneurs from Urban Nepal

Tika Ram Gautam2, Rojina Mahat1

1Tribhuvan University, Nepal; 2Master in Social Work Programme, Tribhuvan University, Nepal

In recent days, women have access to small entrepreneurship, which is new phenomena, even in the urban peripheral part of capital city of Nepal. This paper aims to explore how the women from different social background have entered into such entrepreneurships so that they have been able to enhance their socio-economic status which empowered themselves. In order to explore the role of entrepreneurship in empowering women 35 women from different social background were purposively selected and were interviewed. The data show that the women engaged in entrepreneurship were mostly married and they entered into this business after their marriage. They got both financial and moral support from their family as well as their friends. Women were working very hard spending 70% of their time for their entrepreneurship. Among them 86.02% women were spending more than 8 hours in their entrepreneurships. It is interesting to note that two third of the women entrepreneurs are from nuclear family who spend more time in their business compared to women from joint family. The findings of the study reveal that women entrepreneurship and women empowerment are complementary. The women were empowered themselves and were positive towards entrepreneurial activities after their involvement in their entrepreneurship. They expressed that their participation in entrepreneurial activities has empowered them in the social, economic and cultural fields. Power and access to decision making capability of women has increased at household and community level activities and they were more self-confident than before. Thus, involvement of women in entrepreneurship ultimately empowers women through improving socio-economic status and enhancing capability.

Gender And The Professional Experience Of Women Working In IT sectors. Results Of Research In Polish Context.

Edyta Tobiasiewicz

Jagiellonian Uniwersity in Krakow, Poland

The aim of my lecture is to present the results of a study carried out in 2019, focusing on the issue of gender as a category differentiating professional, and educational experience women connected with IT sectors.

Studies to date (Glass et al., 2013) show that women give up education and STEM-related careers significantly more often than men, despite the same competencies in hard sciences (Stoet and Geary, 2018). This phenomenon occurs most often in the first years after starting education or professional work.

In my presentation I will characterise the significance of gender in IT fields, outline the main barriers, obstacles and challenges faced during professional career development in corporations reported by women. I will present the scope of duties and tasks performed, access to power in organisations, as well as limitations and possibilities of vertical mobility. The analysis of respondents’ experiences will take into account the context of wider organisational structures. I will pay attention to the significance of working environment and factors supporting the sense of belonging to IT sectors. Due to the exploratory nature of the study, qualitative methodology and semi-structured individual in-depth interviews (IDI) with elements of biographical survey were used. The respondents comprised 10 women representing the IT scientific community of one of the largest technical universities (students and lecturers). And also 10 interviews, with women’s employed of a major IT corporation in Poland, in the positions of specialists, leaders, but also subordinate.

It’s not all ‘bout the Money: Making Profit on Gender Equality

Magdalena Petersson McIntyre

University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Gender equality is increasingly related to matters of economic growth. What does it mean to think of gender equality as a market and what are the consequences of such a development? Drawing on fieldwork from a gender consultancy firm and in-depth interviews with consultants, this article examines the development and negotiations concerning concepts and standpoints of gender that are involved in the process. The last decade has witnessed a substantial growth in the gender consultancy field, especially in Sweden. Partly it is a result of the spreading of feminism.

The development of a market for gender equality stems from three different processes. The first is an idea increasingly heard in public debate, namely that gender equality is ‘good for business’ or ‘profitable’. The second process is the marketization that stems from what is often termed neoliberalism and can be observed in many areas of society and public administrations. The third process is related and involves precariousness in the labour market and an encouragement to turn passions into entrepreneurship, a call that often targets young women and detaches subjects from job securities (Scharff 2016).

The paper argues, however, that the talk of gender equality in economic terms, and the growth of this consultancy industry, may also be understood as a questioning of the separation between economic and social values; of bringing the social into matters of the economy, and a refusal to accept the boundaries between bodies, gender, intimacy, and the economy.