برابری جنسیتی و فردگرایی لیبرالیسم: نگاهی انتقادی گفتمان اقتصاددانی در سوئد
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|35883||2014||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||9283 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Scandinavian Journal of Management, Volume 30, Issue 3, September 2014, Pages 306–316
Although Sweden is considered egalitarian, very few women hold top corporate positions. The present study used critical discourse analysis to examine texts by the economist Henrekson (2004), contrasted with another economist Boschini (2004), within a Swedish Centre for Business and Policy Studies project designed to increase the number of women in top corporate positions. Contradictions appeared between Henrekson's ideological stance adhering to liberal individualism, and the implied, normative meaning of gender. Individual men lack agency regarding household and family, while individual women are positioned with agency and thus accountability. Traditional gender constructions and the removal of male agency may undermine the realization of proposed measures, and should be questioned if gender equality in top corporate positions is to be realized.
Sweden represents an interesting paradox in regards to egalitarian matters. It is considered one of the most egalitarian countries in the world, with strong norms about gender equality, and repeatedly ranks favourably and near the top of various measures of gender equality (e.g., Hausmann, Tyson, & Zahidi, 2012). There is a higher educational attainment for women than men, extensive legal and financial support surrounding parental leave for both women and men, and women's labour force participation is almost as high as that of men. Still, many more women work part-time, and the labour market is highly segregated into typically male and female work-sectors (Statistics Sweden, 2012). Women are underrepresented as managers in both the public and private sector, that is, there are higher proportions of female employees than managers in both sectors. Currently, women represent 64% of the managers in the public sector and 28% in the private sector (Statistics Sweden, 2012). International comparisons concerning such statistics must be interpreted with caution. However, as evidenced by Swedish women's representation in the workplace, it is possible to discern that Sweden has not fulfilled its own aspirations to reduce gender segregation in the labour market more generally, and of closing the gender gap in workplace authority more specifically (e.g., Bridges, 2003 and Franco, 2007). This lack of progress may be viewed as a paradox considering the country's strong emphasis on gender equality, with laws and regulations governing equality in many aspects of society, including for example laws stipulating gender equality plans for employers (Equality Ombudsman, 2011, see also Linghag, 2009). The present study analyzed texts from a project by the Swedish Centre for Business and Policy Studies (SNS). The project was entitled More women in leadership posts in business and industry and was conducted during the years 2001–2004. SNS presents itself as “a non-partisan and independent non-profit organization that contributes to decision makers in politics, public administration and business being able to make well-informed decisions based on science and factual analysis” ( SNS, 2013). Research, meetings and the publication of books are their main channels in pursuing this aim. The organization has a governing board of trustees, with trustees who are leading decision makers in business and public administration. SNS currently (2013) has 9500 members, including company and organization members as well as individual members. The aim of the SNS project was to work towards greater diversity and more women in leading positions in business and industry, for example by advocating for more female candidates in the appointment of board members ( SNS, 2004). There were numerous conferences and seminars, with studies involving practitioners as well as researchers, most of which attracted considerable media attention (e.g., Aronsson, 2002 and Thorngren, 2001). As the SNS project was coming to an end, its impact was described in positive terms (e.g., Fagerfjäll, 2003), but at that time, evidence of project related increases in the number of women in management positions could only be speculated on. Two years later, the organization's follow up of the project revealed that the number of women in management had decreased ( Renstig, 2006). The measurable positive impact of the SNS project still remains to be seen ten years later (see e.g., Allbright, 2013 and Fristedt et al., 2012). For example, executive search processes still appear to exclude women and reproduce male dominance in top management (see Tienari, Meriläinen, Holgersson, & Bendl, 2013), even though an improved recruitment process was one of SNS project's aims ( SNS, 2004). One may ask why the proposed actions had little to no apparent effect. The present study takes a critical discursive stance, and aimed at unfolding the discourse regarding women and leadership/management in a part of the SNS project, in order to point at its contribution to maintaining the status quo, that is, the dearth of women in top corporate positions.