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Can changes to gender equality be sustained?

Journal article
Authors Ulla Eriksson-Zetterquist
David Renemark
Published in Gender, Work and Organization
Volume 23
Issue 4
Pages 363–378
ISSN 0968-6673
Publication year 2016
Published at Gothenburg Research Institute (GRI)
Pages 363–378
Language en
Keywords sustainability, performativity, organizational change, doing gender
Subject categories Economics and Business, Business Administration, Gender Studies


The aim of this paper is to discuss how changes to gender equality in organizing can be made sustainable. Numerous studies have reported on projects which have not succeeded in their efforts to implement gender equality. In this paper, we analyse the results from two programmes which aimed to increase equal opportunities among private and public sector organizations. Theoretically, the study is based on the framework of doing gender, which is combined with insights from studies using the translation model of organizational change. The translation model of organizational change enables investigation of formal and informal processes within an institutionalized setting. By studying those aspects that were stabilized into an institution within these two programmes, as well as those which were not, the approaches that had become sustainable for the programmes in the long term could be discerned. When comparing the two programmes, it became apparent that complications arose at the point at which the theoretical aims of gender equality were translated into actions. The analysis of the outcomes of these programmes indicates, however, that, even though the formal goals were not reached, equal opportunities within the participating organizations did benefit from these programmes.

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