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From Biological Clocks to Unspeakable Inequalities: The Intersectional Positioning of Young Professionals

Kelan, Elisabeth K (2014) 'From Biological Clocks to Unspeakable Inequalities: The Intersectional Positioning of Young Professionals.' British Journal of Management, 25 (4). pp. 790-804. ISSN 1045-3172

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The article examines how gender and age influence the experience of being a professional by drawing on intersectionality as an act of positioning for which different discursive resources are employed. Through interviews with employees at two professional services firms, it is shown how younger men and women make sense of professional experiences. First, the biological clock is used to explain the divergence of career patterns of men and women while ignoring that all women, regardless of actual maternal status, suffer a maternity penalty. Second, individual strategies for overcoming being in a minority are suggested that indicate that the individual rather than societal structures shape chances of success. Finally, generational change is used to argue that gender inequality belongs to a previous generation, which indicates that inequality is becoming unspeakable. The article shows that young professionals position themselves in unique ways with regard to age and gender, which entails emphasizing individual agency over systemic inequalities.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2019 13:40
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:52

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