Challenges to diversity: Women in regional trades – the case of capital and symbolic violence

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

Social and cultural capital have long been considered valuable assets that assist individuals to succeed in education and work. Having or acquiring capital is important for women integrating into the male-dominated trades (such as construction, electro-technology, automotive and plumbing). This is particularly so in regional Australia where both urban and rural sectors are challenged by diversity. Women in the male-dominated trades’ present challenges to a workplace culture that has traditionally been populated by white, Christian, heterosexual men.
This paper reports on a wider research project investigating women’s experience of the manual trades. Here we report on how the possession of capital assists women to ‘talk the tools’ and ‘walk the work’. The women who have this capital find the attraction/recruitment journey less daunting, are more quickly accepted and feel they ‘belong’. Capital can therefore afford women assets that quickly translate into skills and an increased confidence to navigate their apprenticeship. Other findings indicate that capital is only a sustaining influence when combined with workplaces that provide a buffer from toxic forms of masculinity and where discrimination, sexualisation, social exclusion and harassment are not part of everyday practices or the workplace culture. i.e. where gender capital is not undermining and where symbolic violence is not in operation.

Conference

Conference2019 TASA Conference
CountryAustralia
CitySydney
Period25/11/1928/11/19
Internet address

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