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Workplace as a gender test laboratory: Gender transition experiences from Finnish workplaces

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dc.contributor Aalto-yliopisto fi
dc.contributor Aalto University en
dc.contributor.author Laapas, Essi
dc.date.accessioned 2015-11-04T13:21:23Z
dc.date.available 2015-11-04T13:21:23Z
dc.date.issued 2015
dc.identifier.uri https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi/handle/123456789/18473
dc.description.abstract Transsexuality is still considered to be a taboo subject that challenges the taken for granted understanding of gender as immutable and essentialist, male or female category. The fear of discrimination and violence keeps many transsexuals from being able to go through a gender transition process while employed which would, however, be important for the mental and financial wellbeing of these individuals as well as for the society, since the process can take years. My purpose in this explorative study is to gain more information on open workplace gender transition experiences in Finland, and to understand how does the essentialist and binary conception of gender affect interactions in the workplaces during the transition processes. I carried out this qualitative study by interviewing eight transwomen who have been employed during their gender transition process and conducted an analysis on the interview data. Transsexual individuals can possess a unique insider status in both gender categories during different stages of their life, which provided me with an interesting perspective that I utilized in the analysis. Gender in this study is seen as a social construction and as doing that structures interaction and is also simultaneously structured by it. This study contributes to the currently limited amount of research on workplace experiences of gender minorities. The context bound nature typical to gender can be seen in the results of this study where the interviewees' experiences varied not only between different workplaces but also within one workplace. The purpose of this study is not, therefore, to draw general conclusions but to examine gendered structures by analyzing single interactions. There were, however, also elements common to many interviewees. The results show that within a gender transition process there are actually two processes taking place simultaneously, biological and social one, from which the latter one was experienced to be more challenging. The findings indicate how the individuals transitioning from one gender to another are treated differently as men and as women. Stereotypical gender roles are reflected, for instance, in how the informants' human capital is evaluated, and what sort of behavior, dress and speech is expected from them. Changes in gender category that is considered as permanent or breaking the gender norms create confusion that unravels as silence, giving advice on gender expression and discrimination. On the other hand, the findings also reveal interactions where the interviewees are encountered neutrally and positively without confusion. The practical implications of this study highlight the importance of inclusive organizational cultures that recognize diversity in gender, along with concrete HR practices such as flexible working hours during the transition process. en
dc.format.extent 77
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.title Workplace as a gender test laboratory: Gender transition experiences from Finnish workplaces en
dc.type G2 Pro gradu, diplomityö fi
dc.contributor.school Kauppakorkeakoulu fi
dc.contributor.school School of Business en
dc.contributor.department Johtamisen laitos fi
dc.contributor.department Department of Management Studies en
dc.subject.keyword gender
dc.subject.keyword transsexual
dc.subject.keyword transgender
dc.subject.keyword gender transition
dc.subject.keyword workplace
dc.subject.keyword sukupuoli
dc.subject.keyword transsukupuolinen
dc.subject.keyword sukupuolenkorjausprosessi
dc.subject.keyword työelämä
dc.identifier.urn URN:NBN:fi:aalto-201511055044
dc.type.dcmitype text en
dc.programme.major MSc program in Management and International Business en
dc.programme.major MSc program in Management and International Business fi
dc.type.ontasot Master's thesis en
dc.type.ontasot Pro gradu tutkielma fi
dc.subject.helecon johtaminen
dc.subject.helecon management
dc.subject.helecon kansainväliset yhtiöt
dc.subject.helecon international companies
dc.subject.helecon työ
dc.subject.helecon work
dc.subject.helecon työelämä
dc.subject.helecon working life
dc.subject.helecon sukupuoli
dc.subject.helecon gender
dc.subject.helecon muutos
dc.subject.helecon change
dc.subject.helecon asenteet
dc.subject.helecon attitudes
dc.ethesisid 14147
dc.date.dateaccepted 2015-09-11
dc.location P1 I
local.aalto.openaccess yes
local.aalto.idthes 14147

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