Gender and the achievement of skilled status in the workplace: the case of senior women in the UK Fire & Rescue Service

Woodfield, Ruth (2015) Gender and the achievement of skilled status in the workplace: the case of senior women in the UK Fire & Rescue Service. Work, Employment and Society. ISSN 0950-0170

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Abstract

This article presents a qualitative study of a hitherto un-researched group, women leaders within the UK Fire & Rescue Service (FRS). The process of modernising the FRS has increased expectations of workforce diversification and of women more easily entering and progressing within the organisation. Here, however, participants’ commentary testifies to the difficulties women faced in being recognised as skilled workers in this context; achieving recognition for both physical and non-physical skills remained a contested process, and one that was not eased by promotion. Participants identified the heightened visibility that accompanied leadership as especially problematic, following a period of gender dimming and assimilation that many had undergone as marginal workers, and had undergone to maximize the chances of being recognised as skilled workers. The findings suggest that some new elements of the modernising FRS culture are less successful than they might be at supporting senior women.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Depositing User: Ruth Woodfield
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2013 14:31
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 07:27
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/29479

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