Feminisation of the workplace

In response to the pressure from feminism and cultural trends highlighting characteristics in workers which have culturally been associated with women, feminisation of the workplace is a label given to the trend towards greater employment of women, and of men willing and able to operate with these more 'feminine' modes of interaction. The chief characteristic has been summed up as 'emotional intelligence'.

Drivers of this change are said to be the increase in socially interactive work such as telesales, therapy, personal services, caring professions and the like which have tended to place a premium on empathy, listening and emotionally well-tuned responses.Fact|date=June 2008

These are the markers of the so-called feminisation: empathy, sociability, greater emotional engagement, a greater preference for non-confrontational interactions, emotional sensitivity.Fact|date=June 2008

There is some dispute about how far these things are cultural constructions and how far they are biologically innate. There does seem to be evidence to support the latter without it being determinist and there are a number of factors that seem to show that there is a part played by enculturation and socialisation. The real debate is where the boundary between the two interpretations lies and how to explain it.


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