Gender salience in women's career-related networking: Interviews with Russian Women

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Abstract

Networking is closely related to personal social capital and, in turn, career outcomes. Stable reproduction of gender inequality in organizations is largely connected to career-related networking opportunities and constraints both for men and women, and this area remains under-researched. In this study we tested the hypothesis that women perceive female gender as a significant constraint in their career development. Also, we tried to find specific situations in work relationships which make networking difficult for women. The main method was qualitative analysis of 51 semi-structured interviews with working women (mean age 33 years old). The pilot study revealed that women were not willing to support “feministic talks” and could hardly recall any difficult gender-related work relationships. We found a facilitating technique through visualizing their career paths, which resulted in spontaneous flashbacks. 57% of the respondents had experienced reminders about gender from co-workers. The reality of the “gender factor” in their professional networking was encountered by women as an unpleasant discovery accompanied with feelings of powerlessness and shame. Negative or humorous gendered interactions (used mostly by men) serve for psychological distance regulation and instrumental aims, setting gender subordination and power. Situations which make networking difficult include explicit or implicit notifications from colleagues that feminine gender is an obstacle for productive work and implies certain restrictions and requirements, motherhood (expected or actual), and sexual interest from male colleagues. We concluded that women assess gender as a visible and at the same time invisible variable affecting their career. There are a number of situations which make career networking constrained for women.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNetworks in the Global World V
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of NetGloW 2020
PublisherSpringer Nature
Pages34-48
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-64877-0
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-64876-3
StatePublished - 21 Feb 2021
EventNetworks in the Global World 2020 - St.Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russian Federation
Duration: 7 Jul 20209 Jul 2020
http://ngw.spbu.ru/

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Networks and Systems
Volume181

Conference

ConferenceNetworks in the Global World 2020
CountryRussian Federation
CitySt.Petersburg
Period7/07/209/07/20
Internet address

Keywords

  • Gendered networking
  • Gender inequality
  • Gender reminders

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