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Keeping gender on the agenda : theorising the systematic barriers to women lawyers in corporate legal practice

Bagust, Joanne 2012, Keeping gender on the agenda : theorising the systematic barriers to women lawyers in corporate legal practice, Griffith law review, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 137-163.

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Title Keeping gender on the agenda : theorising the systematic barriers to women lawyers in corporate legal practice
Author(s) Bagust, Joanne
Journal name Griffith law review
Volume number 21
Issue number 1
Start page 137
End page 163
Total pages 27
Publisher Griffith University, Law School
Place of publication Nathan, Qld.
Publication date 2012
ISSN 1038-3441
Keyword(s) gender
women lawyers
corporate legal practice
Summary Despite the implementation of policies and procedures to redress the gender imbalance at the higher echelons in Australian corporate law firms, only a paucity of women successfully tread the path to equity partnership. In this article, it is argued that it is the systemic, rather than the overt, barriers that present the major obstacle to sexual equality within the corporate legal workplace. Neo-Marxian thought, in particular the work of Charles Derber on the proletarianisation of professional workers, as well as contemporary feminist thought, is utilised to explore why profoundly gendered assumptions in relation to the 'ideal worker' norm remain deeply embedded in the mindsets and attitudes of those organising the legal workplace. It is suggested that fear of change to work practices within firms has not only an ideological but also a material base. It is economically determined. Highly trained women lawyers with family work responsibilities who take up flexible work arrangements in firms are fulfilling a proletarian role and their under-utilised labour is being extracted to increase profit share at the apex and facilitate the progress of their unencumbered colleagues along the path to partnership.
Language eng
Field of Research 180121 Legal Practice, Lawyering and the Legal Profession
Socio Economic Objective 940502 Professions and Professionalisation
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2012, Griffith University, Law School
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30049371

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Business and Law
Law
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Created: Wed, 07 Nov 2012, 15:06:17 EST by Beatrice Fitzgerald

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.