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Gender (In) Authenticity, Belonging and Identity Work in Engineering

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  • Wendy Faulkner
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    Abstract

    This paper proposes the concept of ‘gender (in)authenticity’ to think about the apparent congruence or non-congruence of gender and engineering identities for men and women engineers respectively, in terms of the normative pressures of ‘the way things are’. Drawing on ethnographic evidence, it demonstrates that gender (in)authenticity is consequential. Women engineers often face an ‘(in)visibility paradox’ whereby they struggle to be seen as either ‘real’ engineers or ‘real’ women. They have to do more practitioner and gender identity work, where men engineers belong more readily on both fronts. These subtle gender normative dynamics can significantly undermine the retention and progression of women in engineering. Yet sustained efforts can challenge these dynamics.

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    File URL: https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/108954/1/ARTICLE%20FAULKNER.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its journal Brussels economic review.

    Volume (Year): 54 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 2-3 ()
    Pages: 277-293

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    Handle: RePEc:bxr:bxrceb:2013/108954

    Note: Special Issue "Beyond the leaky pipeline - Challenges for research on Gender on Science" Guest Editors :Maria Caprile, Danièle Meulders, Sile O'Dorchai and Nuria Vallès
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    Keywords: Engineering; Gender and Professional Identities; Identity Work; Belonging;

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