Gender, power, and work: Reporting psychological injuries in the Australian workplace

Charlotte Glick, Rachel Hogg

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The neoconservative political landscape is reflected in the workforce in circumstances of psychological injury. The underreporting of workplace psychologicalinjuries (WPI) is widely acknowledged; however, most employees who report aWPI are female. Female workers may be at greater risk of a WPI and may berendered more vulnerable if they formally report, while male employees may perceive reporting as a threat to their identity. This research sought to understandhow employees experience WPI using a qualitative, social constructionist, feministthematic analysis. Fourteen participants who had experienced WPI participated insemi-structured interviews. Participants described gender-stratified and powermediated catalysts to injury and barriers to reporting that impacted their identities.Job crafting was one means of reframing an injury experience to meet neoliberaldemands for “growth”, “productivity” and “self-actualisation”. A diminishedsense of psychological safety in the workplace often underpinned the decision notto report WPI, while neoliberalism informed how a “good” injured worker shouldrespond to WPI. We suggest that power structures within the workforce intersectwith existing systems of oppression such as neoliberalism, compounding andreproducing exclusionary systems that shape experiences of WPI.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGender, Feminist and Queer Studies
Subtitle of host publicationPower, Privilege and Inequality in a Time of Neoliberal Conservatism
EditorsDonna Bridges, Clifford Lewis, Elizabeth Wulff, Chelsea Litchfield, Larissa Bamberry
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781003316954
ISBN (Print)9781032328294
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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