Women make up less than 12% of the construction industry and 16% of the mining industry in Australia. Percentages are reduced further when women working in administration and other feminised occupations are removed from the tally. In the skilled trades (the crafts) gender diversity is an enduring problem despite persistent skills shortages in these occupations in both industries. Whilst there are identified barriers in the skilled trades and the construction and mining industries, for women, there are few studies that provide insights into how these uniquely manifest in rural areas. Rurality presents additional barriers to women’s employment in the Australian context. Young women have a significantly higher rates of outmigration from rural areas than young men and report fewer career opportunities. Furthermore, rural areas are known for having a macho culture and for failing to be inclusive of diversity. Therefore, the well cited barriers that women experience in the skilled trades (social exclusion, marginalization, discrimination, harassment, and other forms of social closure) are heightened when women seek employment in rural areas. We apply a Bourdieusian analysis to the barriers women face in the construction and mining industries in rural Australia. We investigate women’s capital in the skilled-trades and consider gender capital in relation to social, cultural and symbolic capitals. Our analysis broadly explores Bourdieu’s symbolic power and symbolic violence in rural cultural environments where masculinity is ‘normative’ and women are defined as ‘other’. Our study uses empirical evidence, and reports on the literature in the field, to examine the subtle and invisible forms of violence that women experience in the skilled trades, in rural areas, in both the mining and construction industries.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2023
EventInternational Sociological Association XX World Congress of Sociology: Resurgent Authoritarianism - Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 25 Jun 202301 Jul 2023
Conference number: XX
https://www.isa-sociology.org/uploads/imgen/1579-isa-wcs2023-book-of-abstracts.pdf (Abstracts)


ConferenceInternational Sociological Association XX World Congress of Sociology
Abbreviated titleSociology of New Entanglements of Religions, Politics and Economies
Internet address


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