Abstract

The skilled trades are highly gender segregated occupations.Unsurprisingly, research about women in thismale-dominated sector focuses on the various barriers toinclusion. In contrast, this article identifies factors that havecontributed to women's successes. Drawing on in-depthinterviews with tradeswomen, we found that the successfactors for women in the skilled trades were aligned with socialand cultural capital. Findings also indicate that women'ssuccess is driven by their individual attributes and resourcesrather than any forms of systematic support. There is limitedevidence of a coordinated approach from industry and governmentto increase gender equity and inclusion. Success forwomen is, therefore, most likely to be singularly occurring,unpredictable and difficult to replicate. We use a Bourdieusianapproach to understand how capital facilitates women'ssuccess and how forms of capital can be translated intomeasurable and repeatable strategies. We argue that capitaloffers women an opportunity to circumvent traditionalresistance to gender inclusion because it provides culturallegitimacy. Replicating social and cultural capital throughindustry initiatives that are measurable and repeatable arelikely to be the most constructive ways forward. We recommenda coordinated industry approach to improve diversityand inclusion in the sector.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalGender, Work and Organization
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 05 Nov 2021

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