Despite decades of greater gender awareness at work in Western countries, gender inequality in the executive suites is alive and well. "The Face of the Firm" highlights new critical perspectives on the relationship between hegemonic masculine cultures, gender embodiment, and gender disparities in corporate organizations. Using data from over 100 interviews with female and male executives who worked for some of the most prestigious advertising and computer firms in the world, the book makes important connections between the empirical data and contemporary sexism in the United States and United Kingdom. The book refocuses the debate of executive work, organizational spaces, and gender inequality on gendered bodies at work. It also demonstrates that gendered and sexualized relations among executives often construct the production process. The book makes a contribution to masculinity, gender, and work scholarship and is organized along three key concepts: homogeneity, homosociability, and heterosexuality. These address such factors as the organizational locker room, sexual and heterosexual spaces at work, and the construction of women and men as different workers. This conceptual model is crucial for evaluating the mechanisms that support male dominance among highly skilled professionals and executives."
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Corporate Masculine Embodiment and Mechanisms of Inequality at Work
Chapter 2: Gendered Structures and Masculine Cultures in Advertising and Computing
Chapter 3: Homogeneity: In His Image
Chapter 4: Homosociability: Make Way for the Men’s Room
Chapter 5: A League Of Their Own: A Minor League with Major Potential
Chapter 6: Heterosexuality: Mad Men British Style
Chapter 7: Conclusion: New Businesses, Old Habits and Challenges to Equality
Appendix A: Methodology
Appendix B: The Interview Schedule
Appendix C: Computer Personnel Data
Appendix D: Questionnaire Results
Appendix E: Advertising Department and Gender Data
Michele Rene Gregory is Associate Professor of Sociology at York College of The City University of New York, where she teaches courses on race and ethnicity, sociology of work and complex organizations. Her research focuses on managerial masculinities, athletic embodiment in organizations, and gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity in the workplace.
"Michele Gregory's The Face of the Firm is a detailed study of what was happening in the late 1980s in advertising and computing industries. But it is also much more in charting continuities with and differences from business today, including how the two industries, then distinct and largely separate, have now become so closely intertwined. It is a 'must read' not only for those committed to the critical analysis of gender, diversity and organizations, but also those concerned with HRM, ICTs, and technology more generally."
Jeff Hearn, Örebro University, Sweden; University of Huddersfield, UK; author of Men of the World
"In this compelling book, Professor Gregory considers the role of hegemonic masculinity in creating and proscribing gendered roles, work, and experiences in advertising and computing industries in the United Kingdom and the United States. The rich, multi-method study documents disparities between beliefs, attitudes, perceptions, and experiences of corporate men and women as they work and live. Relevant to countless other industries, organizations, and settings, this book provides eye-opening evidence of the continued need to pursue gender equality and inclusion."
Myrtle Bell, University of Texas at Arlington