The Making of Women Trade Unionists: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Making of Women Trade Unionists

1st Edition

By Gill Kirton


200 pages

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In what will be essential reading for all industrial relations scholars, Gill Kirton considers the social construction of women's trade union participation in the context of male dominated trade unions. Exploring the making and progress of women's trade union careers, this book locates the issues within the context of their experiences of three interlocking social institutions - the union, work and family. The book examines how and why women embark on trade union careers, the social processes which shape women's gender and union identities and the combined influences of union/work/family contexts on the trajectory of women's union careers. Additionally, the book offers a historical overview of the development of women's trade union education and separate organizing, with original analysis and historical data.


'…a stimulating in-depth analysis of women's orientation to and participation in trade unions. Through a skilful combination of traditional industrial relations research and feminist research, the author makes a significant contribution to our understanding of union democracy and participation.' Dr Ardha Danieli, University of Warwick, UK ’This excellent text provides an up-to-date and exhaustive account of women’s careers within trade unions. A thorough review of literature, both contemporary and historical, on women in unions, is combined with in-depth case-study materials which show how union education policies help women build careers. This book will be invaluable for students both of industrial relations and of equality and diversity.’ Professor Harriet Bradley, University of Bristol, UK

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Theoretical background; Women and trade unions: an overview; Women's trade unionism in historical context; Educating women trade unionists; Starting a trade union career; The shaping of women's trade union careers; The making of women's trade union careers; Making sense of women's trade union careers; Appendix: research methods; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Gill Kirton is Senior Lecturer in Employment Relations in the School of Business and Management at Queen Mary, University of London, UK. As a researcher she is part of Queen Mary's Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity. She has published a number of journal articles, book chapters and papers, on topics ranging from women and trade unionism to gender and race in employment and diversity management.

About the Series

Gender and Organizational Theory

Gender and Organizational Theory
The aim of this series is to provide research monographs and edited volumes on all topics within the area of gender and management, broadly defined. The series is intended to encompass different perspectives within feminism (for example liberal, post-structuralist and Marxist) as well as the interplay of feminist perspectives with other forms of identity and discourse. The series also aims to provide books that explore notions of masculinities in an organizational context.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Organizational Behavior