"Girls Who Do Boys Like They’re Girls": gender and call centre’s junior management

Vincenza Priola

Research output: Preprint or Working paperWorking paper


This paper focuses on the structuring of work and organization by exploring the hierarchical and gendered nature of the division of labour within a contemporary service-based organization. Central to our account is the role of the ‘team leader’, which we argue, as a junior management position, occupies a key role in understanding and accounting for the gendered hierarchical terrain of the organization. In exploring the role of team leaders, a position that empirically, tends overwhelming to be held by female members of staff, we draw attention to the perception of the gendered nature of the role by subordinate members of the organization, team-leaders themselves, and more senior members of staff. The specific constitution and character of the team leader position is brought into sharp relief through comparison with the subordinate role of ‘problem manager’, a position which was overwhelming held by men. Our ethnographic approach attempts to draw attention to that which is both ‘said’ and ‘done’ within the organizational context and the account of junior managers that emerges is highly gendered. The paper seeks to map this account onto the existing and on-going debate within Gender and Organizational research, which explores, documents and challenges Masculinities at work.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBirmingham
PublisherAston University
ISBN (Print)9781854497468
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009

Bibliographical note



  • junior management
  • masculinities and femininities
  • gender practices service work
  • ethnography


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