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Networks of Exclusion: Job Segmentation and Gendered Social Networks in the Knowledge Economy Dr. Mia Gray Dr. Tomoko Kurihara 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Networks of Exclusion: Job Segmentation and Gendered Social Networks in the Knowledge Economy Dr. Mia Gray Dr. Tomoko Kurihara 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Networks of Exclusion: Job Segmentation and Gendered Social Networks in the Knowledge Economy Dr. Mia Gray Dr. Tomoko Kurihara 1

2 Segmentation in the Labour Market Persistent Gendered Segmentation UK: Women in Work Commission US: Fed Glass Ceiling Commission Knowledge Intensive Economy different? Occupational Segmentation women primarily subject to segregation into occupations that are devalued because they are dominated by women Job Segmentation gendered and racialised patterns in pay, position, and prestige within an occupation. 2

3 Social Networks at Work job acquisition and promotion embedded in informal networks informal social networks provide access to valuable labour market info and lower transaction costs Weak ties original or unique information from one network, or community of knowledge, to another networks can result not only in jobs, but in better jobs - prestige jobs, satisfaction, earnings (Granovetter) Once you get a job -- affect job stability and promotion prospects Women better at this explicit social component to work 3

4 Social Networks and Job Promotion Gendered nature of social networks affects internal mobility within the firm information isolation, blocks career advancement of women, as well as minorities (FGCC) Composition, range, and geography of women's networks of social contacts differ from those of men (Drentea) social homogeneity of networks (Marsden, Kanter) women who use informal job search methods are more likely to end up with gender segregated jobs (Drentea) segregation in networks reinforces occupational segmentation in the labour market technical women excluded from informal networks of knowledge diffusion in high tech firms (Gray and James, Fisher) ineffective in placing members in high-end jobs is because there are fewer high-status contacts in the network (McGuire) Open vs Closed network 5

5 Social Capital as Metaphor Putman: celebratory embrace of social networks: social capital - positive externalities of social connections (results in trust, shared norms, solidarity, civic mindedness) social capital is productive and positive Bourdieu: class and social networks social capital = social networks + resources embedded in these networks + instrumental use of these resources social K as investment of members in the dominant class engaging in mutual recognition to maintain the group resources. Stress unequal distribution of capital Agency imp. -- individuals either consciously or unconsciously invest time and effort to produce and maintain good and useful social relations with people in exchange for profitable outcomes Lin, Burt, and Cook: application to work place Lin: Social capital = structural (embeddedness), opportunity (accessibility) + action-orientation (use) Social K always generates return or gain and positive Intertwined with human K (networks make you more desirable to employers for some positions) 7

6 Social Capital Problematic Positive outcomes (individuals always have positive returns on investments) No benefits from scale: capital always accrues equally to large and small investors Confuses resources in network & resources as network Like neoclassical economics, assumes away conflict, power-struggles with assumption of harmonious outcomes 6

7 Our Study – ICT Engineering Professionals: Two firms in same segment of ICT: licensing only Small number of women and declining focus groups and individual interviews of 30 engineers (gender, ethnicity) CVs as aide memoir -- snapshots of career histories- - focusing on social relations that led to job acquisition & promotion account for the way people experience and conceptualise their relationships in the workplace attuned to the use of language within the firm (differentiating between management and eng) that reflect shared norms, identity and values complex ways in which the meaning of social networks/capital can be interpreted by status, age, sex and ethnicity 7

8 Our Findings: Job Segregation Severe job segregation: Female engineers -- support engineering jobs (testing, customer service, debugging) Women rarely held positions in management –few functioned as development engineers –few women in lower management. –Job security gendered -- many of the support jobs are currently being outsourced to India and other countries. Male engineers – core engineer and mangmt –No men as low-level support engineers –Male management –Mid and senior engineering positions are mixed, mostly filled by ethnic men and women 8

9 Table 8 : The Occupational Structure of Interview Participants Low-level Engineers Technical support Customer Support Testing Mary Aisha Lei KatrinaKirsty Victoria Ethnic WomenEU Ethnic Women Non-ethnic Women Ethnic MenEU Ethnic MenNon-ethnic Men Born UK Immigr ant Top Management Division manager Vice Presidents Director of Research Arjun Derek Nigel Middle Management Manage staff + use technical knowledge Edwi n Colin TalvinJuan Lower Management No staff management Product/custome r knowledge Ulla Luca Senior Engineer Wei Steve Mid-level Engineer Qian Bridget Omar

10 Findings: The Key to Promotion Male mgmt engineers – all strongly mentored. All received informal invitations for them to apply for job (then advertised and won in open competition). Understands promotion, sees hierarchy Effective but closed system of mentors – nested mentoring, band of brothers – share history, cultural norms and references (BTP shape) Screening potential candidates (degree of openness, but structural holes dont indiscriminately bestow their resources equally upon broader web of contacts) Resources access are cumulative – creates initial legitimacy, which then creates more networks and makes them more worth knowing –Accrue more capital from being chosen 12

11 Band of Brothers: Nested Mentoring at BTP CEO David VP of Eng Derek Head of System On Chip Pete Director Of Eng Arjun CPU Eng Mgr Nigel

12 Findings: The Mystery of Promotion (or lack of) Strong gendered patterns in accessing networks and resources Female support engineers isolated from male managers club and felt they missed out on information flows Promotion system was a mystery. Others felt they were out of the loop No language to talk about mentors/networks Explained lack of hierarchy Everyone has networks, but varying –resources in them –degree of conscious use and –skill in using them 12

13 Realising Capital: Negative Returns Network Mobility Women still changed jobs more often to accommodate partners career. More difficult to gain and change employment, more un and under-employment Made promotion slower Negative Returns? Human capital (education) under valued Social capital (univ./job connections) devalued Social capital specific to sector/industry/occupation Realising social capital limited (need for work permit limits mobility) 20

14 Deploying Capital: Spatial Liquidity Networks have spatial and non-spatial components Non-spatial: –Non-proximate industry-based networks help with work advice, problem solving, crisis. Can help with job acquisition Spatial: –Proximate industry networks and/or regional networks provide opportunity within firm and/or region. Affected when change location (nationally or internationally) or sector --if not motivated by personal opportunity –Additionally, community-based/home based mobilise social capital can help realise return on workplace capital. Often mobility separates worker from community based social capital. –Both devalued existing social networks – make it difficult to access and resources 20

15 Different Networks and Range of Mobility in Space BTP Support Engineers Mid Level Management Low End Management Band of Brothers 14 Complex confluence of overlapping network mobility

16 Conclusion: Not always positive outcome (can lose capital) Takes capital to make capital (large investors privileged) Importance of agency as well as structure: competences -- social knowledge and skills to act on this knowledge -- necessary for positive outcomes People do not pass on information indiscriminately to whoever they are in touch with; its an investment or payment of an outstanding debt. Exclusionary as well as inclusionary -- gender, ethnicity and forms of cultural capital at work to maintain the distinction between inclusivity and exclusivity. Protection of resources Social capital as a power-structure by another means Depoliticises the workplace 11

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