Jämställdhet som ideal och praktik på ett IT-företag
In this essay, the opportunities and obstacles of gender equality work were examined from a gender theory perspective. A survey was used, based on a questionnaire from the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman (JämO), which was complemented by qualititative interviews. The data was then analyzed in relation to the equal opportunities policy and staff policy of the corporation head quarters. The organization had a non-hierarchical structure and consisted of salaried employees, which was asumed to influence its gender contract – a concept derived from the theories of Hirdman. In order to examine the difference between the ideal of gender equality in the Swedish society and the gender equality in practice, two themes were used, the work environment in relation to gender and attitudes towards gender equality. The result showed an organization where gender equality was an unspoken ideal, while active work for it was lacking. In the company, a high degree of individual responsibility and an informal distribution of work were parts of the internal routines. The foremost opportunities for actively working for gender equality were the fact that both men and women were found at all levels of the company, and that individual competence was highly valued. Three obstacles were identified. Firstly, it was complicated for both managers and staff to define problems in terms of gender and gender equality issues. Secondly, those who called attention to problems risked losing important contacts and commissions. Thirdly, due to the constant time pressure and the lack of initiative from management in gender equality issues, the employees had to handle problems arising relating to gender on their own, depending on their own time and energy. Paradoxically, the adopting of the ideal of gender equality and the focus on individual competence prevented gender being seen as a factor that could affect the work environment. By that, inequalities relating to gender were hidden and thereby also the importance of active gender equality work.
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:gender equality work environment it company survey
Date of Publication:01/29/2007