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Reconstructing male employers by adapting to the transformations of work

Article

French

ID: <10670/1.ugwwsd>

Abstract

For the owner of a family business, ensuring continuity through a worthy heir is a key challenge, an essential point of honour both professionally and for the family. Among a group of about twenty employer families I have met in the Vimeu region who are in the locksmith business, only two women are heirs. Employers are almost exclusively male. This way of being, acting and thinking of oneself as both “man” and boss is the product of a social construction of masculinity supported by a traditional gender division of labour within the family and the workplace. However, changes in the economic environment resulting from globalization have forced employers to adapt and value skills and functions traditionally perceived as feminine. A renewed employer masculinity emerges, the result of a new gendered division of labour, and the production work of the “born leader.”

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