Friday, 26 October 2012

Knowledge work: gender-blind or gender-biased?

an article by Catherine Truss (University of Kent, UK), Edel Conway, Gráinne Kelly, Kathy Monks and Patrick C Flood (Dublin City University, Ireland), Alessia d’Amato (London School of Economics, UK) and Enda Hannon (Kingston University, UK) published in Work Employment & Society Volume 26 Number 5 (October 2012)


Knowledge-intensive firms (KIFs) have been the subject of growing interest from researchers. However, investigations into the comparative experiences of men and women in KIFs remain sparse, and little is known about women’s participation in the processes of innovation and knowledge exchange and combination that are core features of KIFs.

The article reports on the findings of a study in the UK and Ireland involving 498 male and female knowledge workers in KIFs.

Despite equal levels of qualification and experience, women are more likely to be in lower status and less secure jobs. They also predominantly occupy roles featuring less variety and autonomy than men and, despite comparable levels of knowledge exchange and combination, are less likely to be in a position to translate this into the innovative work behaviours necessary for career advancement.

The findings suggest that women’s experiences of and participation in knowledge processes within KIFs differ fundamentally from men’s.

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