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Feminism through the market? A study of gender‐equality consultants in France


  • Soline Blanchard


This article explores the professional subjectivities of gender‐equality (GE) consultants in France based on 63 interviews. A central concern is how these experts shape positions when working on a topic at the crossroads of personal, political, and economic stakes – in organizational and business contexts that are reluctant to embrace any feminist‐like perspective. Questioning the rationales for entering this market activity, the ways to embody professional work and service impact self‐assessment, the analysis highlights the tensions and dilemmas experienced by GE consultants in terms of aligning convictions and business imperatives, and the pragmatic and variable arrangements they make on a daily basis to put GE principles into practice. This research documents GE work by reanalyzing colliding dyads such as work/activism, professionalism/feminism, co‐optation/resistance, and by reviewing the use of market logics in subverting the existing gender/economic order. It draws a nuanced picture of the constraints and opportunities that GE consulting offers to destabilize power from within organizations.

Suggested Citation

  • Soline Blanchard, 2022. "Feminism through the market? A study of gender‐equality consultants in France," Gender, Work and Organization, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(2), pages 443-465, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:gender:v:29:y:2022:i:2:p:443-465
    DOI: 10.1111/gwao.12770

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    References listed on IDEAS

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