Women-only networks in male-dominated occupations: The role of collective trust and gender in fostering collaboration and building resilience

Rydzik, Agnieszka (2019) Women-only networks in male-dominated occupations: The role of collective trust and gender in fostering collaboration and building resilience. In: Gender, Work and Organisation International Interdisciplinary Conference, 13-16 June 2018, Macquarie University, Sydney.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Presentation)
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

Drawing from a study of a UK network of female brewers, this paper explores the multi-faceted role trust and single-gender networks play in enabling women’s resilience through strengthening collaboration and forging relationships between geographically dispersed women working in a male-dominated sector.

Although more women enter the microbrewing sector each year, brewing remains male-dominated and breweries constitute largely masculine territories. Women entering the sector face numerous challenges to gain acceptance and challenge masculine norms in their workplaces. This includes the need to continuously prove their competency for what is considered a traditionally masculine role and demonstrate their suitability for performing the hard-physical work of brewing. Furthermore, women brewers are under-represented in the sector’s formal networks and committees, and their breweries are geographically dispersed, which makes exerting influence difficult.

This paper looks at how a cross-UK women-only informal network of brewers enables women to negotiate these constraints, mitigate certain layers of disadvantage and build resilience to the complex range of challenges associated with their career choice on both the individual and collective levels. The paper provides an in-depth and nuanced exploration of how trust within a network acts as an enabler of resilience. While studies have been conducted on trust in networks, these are largely quantitative, gender-blind and based within large organisations. The paper thus seeks to further debates on the gendered nature of networks and explore how trust within informal networks fosters resilience.

Keywords:Gender, Resilience, networks, male-dominated occupations
Subjects:L Social studies > L300 Sociology
N Business and Administrative studies > N200 Management studies
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:33354
Deposited On:20 Oct 2018 13:03

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