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Research article2020Peer reviewed

Conditioned openings and restraints: The meaning-making of women professionals breaking into the male-dominated sector of forestry

Johansson, Kristina; Andersson, Elias; Johansson, Maria; Lidestav, Gun


This article addresses how women forestry professionals articulate and interpret their experiences of being a woman and a professional in the male-dominated context of forestry. The findings suggest that the entrance of women into forestry has created openings as well as restraints within the dominant discourses of forestry organizations. Gendered constructions of skills and a workplace culture described as built on homosocial values cause women to feel questioned and disadvantaged. At the same time, women are valued for their perceived capacity to perform relational-based aspects of forestry work and as a means to reduce gender segregation. We conclude that while these openings are conditioned by discourses of gender differences and masculine privileges, they provide women, to some extent, with subjectivity and organizational space that, with time, may challenge the dominant and gendered discourses of forestry organizations.


forestry; gender segregation; male-dominated industries; skills; women

Published in

Gender, Work and Organization
2020, Volume: 27, number: 6, pages: 927-943
Publisher: WILEY