Who we are at Work: Millennial Women, Everyday Inequalities and Insecure Work
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Based on research with millennial women in Canada, this article examines the process of workplace identity, or (un)conscious strategies of identity management that young women employ at work. First, despite increasing labour market participation from women, young women's experience of the workplace can be one of precarity and insecurity. Many millennial women have responded with a positive front' - saying yes to all work tasks while highlighting their likability and acceptance of the status quo. This is not seen as a permanent strategy, but rather one that gets you into the workplace and liked' until your work speaks for itself. Second, and operating at the same time, young women also use tactics to confront intersections of ageism/sexism in the workplace. While some employ conscious strategies to be taken seriously' through dress, small talk, even taking on stereotypical traits of masculinity to be recognized as competent, others explicitly confront inequality through girlie feminism' with a pro-femininity work identity that challenges the masculine-coded norms of how a successful workplace operates and what it looks like. In jobs of all types, who we are at work is a constantly shifting negotiation between how we are treated and seen by others, the workplace as a social space, our past experiences and our own expectations. Considering young women's work identities reveals how power and privilege operate in the workplace, and the possibilities of young women's agential challenges to inequitable workplace norms and a precarious labour market.
Cite this work
Nancy Worth (2016). Who we are at Work: Millennial Women, Everyday Inequalities and Insecure Work. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/12070