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Empowerment and gender in the workplace: experiences in accounting and IT firms in Mexico

Ruiz Castro, M.F.; (2009) Empowerment and gender in the workplace: experiences in accounting and IT firms in Mexico. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

The aim of this research is to study the gender implications of empowerment processes in the workplace. This research studies the manifestations of empowerment processes in hierarchical and non-hierarchical organisations, as well as the ways in which women and men experience them. Ultimately, this research is concerned with the relationship between empowerment processes and gender equality in the workplace. ‘Empowerment’ has been both the most aspired to and co-opted term of the last four decades. In the gender and development field, empowerment entails greater gender equality and social change. It is a process whereby women and men conscious of their constrained condition and position in society, exercise their individual and collective agency to challenge oppressive structures, and take control over their own lives. In contrast, in the corporate world, empowerment represents a series of management intentions, which seek to enhance employees’ performance, responsibility and commitment towards organisational goals. This is achieved though an increase in employees’ range of responsibilities and in their level of autonomy to carry them out. This research proposes to study the gender implications of corporate empowerment at the level of job execution. It also widens its scope by integrating a transformatory view into its analysis. Thus, it explores women’s and men’s degree of consciousness, agency and autonomy over two relevant aspects of their working lives: time management and career direction. This research adopts a case-study approach. Empirical research was conducted in two corporations of the professional services sector in Mexico, employing a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods. This study demonstrates that corporate empowerment perpetuates gender inequalities in both hierarchical and non-hierarchical organisations, either by excluding women from the process or by creating unequal outcomes for women and men. Further, it shows that the manifestation of transformatory empowerment is jeopardised by women and men's compliance with corporate expectations and inaction to bring about changes in discriminatory organisational practices as well as to demand greater corporate responsibility.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Empowerment and gender in the workplace: experiences in accounting and IT firms in Mexico
Language:English
Additional information:Authorisation for digitisation not received
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Development Planning Unit

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