ESRC Gendered Inclusion Seminar Series | Middlesex University London
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Gendered Inclusion in Contemporary Organisations

Event information

START DATE 17 June 2016
START TIME 09:30am

Wivenhoe House Hotel, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ.

END DATE 17 June 2016
END TIME 04:30pm

Gender Inclusion Seminar

Seminar 3 – Researching Gendered Inclusion: Interdisciplinary Methodologies

Friday 17th June 2016

9.30am to 4.30pm

University of Essex

To advance debates concerned with the persistence of gender inequality in contemporary organizations, this seminar series argues for a shift in how we theorise and understand the tenacity and experience of ongoing discrimination. Specifically, the series calls for a move away from explanations based on an assumption of exclusion towards a focus on the way in which women and men are included in organizations today.

The third seminar in the series will explore the ways in which we can approach researching gendered inclusion and communicating our research to different audiences.

The inclusion of women in the world of workplace organizations appears to be an inherently ‘good’ project. The current extent to which women participate in the labour market is the result of many years of struggle to create the conditions for reducing gender inequality, and as such deserves recognition. For academic researchers, however, this also poses a challenge of how to question the prevalent patterns of inclusion, and how to enter into a productive dialogue with practitioners and policymakers about the need to critically appraise and change the ways women and men tend to be included within contemporary workplace settings. The seminar will provide a forum for creative engagement with a range of innovative, interdisciplinary research methodologies aiming to explore the gendered nature of inclusion. It will also inspire and facilitate reflection on our responsibilities as academics – and possibly powerful change agents – to infuse the potential for a critical approach to issues of workplace diversity and inclusion.


  • Professor Emma Bell  (Keele Management School, Keele University, UK)
  • Dr Suvi Salmenniemi (Department of Sociology, University of Turku, Finland)
  • Prof. Melissa Tyler (Essex Business School, University of Essex, UK)
  • Louise Nash (Essex Business School, University of Essex, UK)
  • Listen to Seminar 3 Presentations Podcast

‘Gendered Inclusion in Contemporary Organisations’

This seminar series seeks to advance debates on gender workplace inequality by proposing a shift from exclusion to inclusion in theorising gender-related issues in contemporary organisations. To challenge the recent rise of postfeminist assertions that gender equality has been achieved and women just need to 'lean in' to be successful, this seminar series aims to critically explore the conditions, forms and circumstances of women's and men's inclusion in organisations in order to generate a more complex account of contemporary experiences of workplace (in)equalities.

Specific objectives of this series are:

a) To provide a platform for the first systematic, critical, multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder examination and debate of gendered inclusion in contemporary organizations.

b) To debate definitions, rationale and methodologies of/for analysing gendered inclusion, and to explore the potential of this framework to inform theory development and facilitate practical interventions.

c) To generate knowledge about circumstances, conditions and forms of gendered inclusion in different organizational contexts, to discuss how gendered inclusion patterns may lead to the (re)production of various forms of inequality, and to set future research agendas.

d) To develop an international dialogue and interdisciplinary networks, bringing together experts from the fields of management and organization studies, sociology, gender, media and cultural studies, politics and languages.

e) To develop the research capacity and career prospects of postgraduate and early career scholars by promoting their systematic and active participation as central agents in developing theories and research agendas, both during and after the seminar series.

f) To influence practice and explore various interventions which may positively shape workplace gender inclusion by encouraging active collaboration between academics, practitioners, civil society groups, policy makers and other stakeholders.


Seminar 1 Gendered Inclusion: Debating the Concept and Understanding the Context

Listen to Seminar 1 Presentation Podcasts

Seminar 1 will set out the background for exploring gendered workplace inclusion by debating the concept and meaning of gendered inclusion. Presentations will address contemporary cultural and social contexts that underpin current gendered discourses surrounding women and work, and particularly the implications of the rise of postfeminist and neoliberal discourses for our understanding gender in the workplace. The seminar will bring together insights from academics, practitioners and policy-makers.

Speakers include:

  • Professor Angela McRobbie (Department of Media and Communications, Goldsmiths, University of London)
  • Dr Patricia Lewis (Kent Business School, University of Kent)
  • Dr Jonathan Dean (School of Politics and international Studies, University of Leeds)
  • Ms Scarlet Harris (Women's Equality Officer, Trades Union Congress),
  • Ms Donna Halkyard (Diversity consultant and Vice-president of City Women Network),

Seminar 2 Theorising Gendered Inclusion: Contemporary Gender Roles, Identities and Expectations at Work

Listen to Seminar 2 Presentations Podcast

Seminar 2 in the series will explore the feminine and masculine organizational subjectivities which form the basis of inclusion in contemporary organizations. In particular, attention will be directed at reconfigurations of femininity and masculinity connected to discourses of postfeminism and neoliberalism which circulate in the wider social context. Such discourses act as differentiators of the meanings and understandings that attach to femininity and masculinity with implications for how women and men – both understood as heterogeneous groups – experience work and organizations. Set within the context of the emergence of these discourses, this seminar considers the kinds of organizational subjects women and men are expected to become - such as the new ideal leader characterised by a feminine ethos manifest in a range of leadership practices associated with femininity - if they are to gain access to and be fully included in the world of work.


  • Dr Shelley Budgeon, Dept. of Political Science, University of Birmingham - Governance Feminism and Techniques of Crisis Management
  • Professor Rosalind Gill, School of Arts & Social Sciences, City University - The Confidence Cult: Putting Confidence to Work in the Postfeminist & Neoliberal Workplace
  • Professor Elisabeth Kelan, Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University - Men, Managers & Postfeminism
  • Dr Maria Adamson, Middlesex University Business School, Middlesex University - Successfully ‘balanced’ femininity in CEO autobiographies: the intersection of postfeminist and neoliberal logic
  • Dr Rachel O’Neill, Dept. of Culture, Media and Creative Industries, Kings College London - Postfeminism in the academy: Gendered Inclusions and Exclusions in Masculinity Studies
  • Professor Nick Rumens, Portsmouth Business School, University of Portsmouth - Postfeminism, Queer Sexualities and Work

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