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Wo-managing Further Education; gender and the construction of the manager in the corporate colleges of England

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1999
<mark>Journal</mark>Gender and Education
Issue number3
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)323-342
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Abstract This article suggests that alongside the seeming remasculinisation of UK further education management reported recently in Gender and Education, there is also a little-reported but prevalent feminisation of lower level managerial positions across this sector. To support this assertion the article draws on empirical work done by the Further Education Development Agency, and two interview-based studies of woman and men college 'managers'. Conceptually, the article draws on both labour process and post-structuralist understandings of feminisation. In general the article suggests that, as with public sector restructuring more generally, some limited recruitment of women to management posts is involved. In further education, such recruitment cannot be simply seen either as celebrating the proof of increasing equity between men and women in educational work, or of demonstrating the desire by women to secure career advancement. The article suggests that, as with the feminisation of other forms of work, this recruitment of women to middle level management posts is a key aspect of restructuring itself. In part it is suggested that women's previous 'outsider' positioning provides a basis for recruitment to such positions in the context of new job descriptions and tasks. Yet as well as taking on much of the new managerial work of the sector, often alongside heavy teaching loads, these postings also demand what is, for some women, a highly problematic loyalty to the commercial ethos of the corporate colleges.