Challenging Knowledge, Sex and Power: Gender, Work and Engineering

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2013-07-18
  • Publisher: Routledge

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This book addresses the intractable problem of achieving gender equity at work. Rapid economic and social changes have restructured workplaces and workforce participation across the world, but gender inequalities remain. In spite of several decades of campaigns to achieve equity for women, the gains have been slim. The authors argue that the assumptions underlying gender equity policies and campaigns need to be challenged, because these campaigns ignore unequal gendered power relations. Engineering exemplifies the problem. Although it has been subject to numerous gender equity campaigns, it remains one of the most male-dominated professions in the world. While other professions such as law and medicine have now achieved gender parity, at least at entry level in many industrially advanced countries, the number of women entering the engineering profession remains very low. The problem may be put bluntly: why are there so few women engineers and why is this impervious to change? We argue that the lack of progress for women in engineering stems from the refusal to recognise and to know the role of sexual politics in workplace cultures and equity campaigns.

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