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Women's formal networking: The relationship between networking activities and power

Papafilippou, Vanda; Durbin, Susan; Conley, Hazel

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Authors

Susan Durbin Sue.Durbin@uwe.ac.uk
Professor in Human Resource Management

Hazel Conley Hazel.Conley@uwe.ac.uk
Professor in Human Resource Management



Abstract

This article examines the networking that takes place within formally organized internal (organization-based) and external (industry-based) women engineers' networks. Drawing upon 48 interviews with women engineers, across a number of industries and seniority levels, mostly in the UK, the article contributes to the scarce empirical literature examining formal women's networking in engineering, in terms of its role in individual support and collective change. By adopting Allen's (1998, 1999) definition of feminist power and shifting the focus of analysis from merely instrumental to other types of networking activities, the study contributes empirically and theoretically to understanding how internal and external women's networking has the potential to help female engineers to stay in and change the profession. Despite the critiques that formal women's networks lack power and the ability to make a positive difference for women, when feminist conceptualizations of power are adopted, women's networking within these networks can be considered to empower them in a variety of ways. Our data identifies that wider networking within external women's networks can be particularly useful as a force for change.

Citation

Papafilippou, V., Durbin, S., & Conley, H. (2022). Women's formal networking: The relationship between networking activities and power. Gender, Work and Organization, 29(5), https://doi.org/10.1111/gwao.12869

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 2, 2022
Online Publication Date May 22, 2022
Publication Date Aug 30, 2022
Deposit Date May 23, 2022
Publicly Available Date May 25, 2022
Journal Gender, Work and Organization
Print ISSN 1468-0432
Electronic ISSN 1468-0432
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 29
Issue 5
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/gwao.12869
Keywords collective change, feminist power, networking, social support, women engineers
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/9560655

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