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(PhD omtale) Motivation, organisational gender equality work and the postfeminist gender regime: A feminist approach

Abstract

Danmark betragtes ofte som et foregangsland, når det handler om kønsligestilling. Men dette billede kan og bør nuanceres. Overordnet set er den danske kontekst kendetegnet ved, at komplekse og ofte selvmodsigende antagelser om køn og ligestilling lever side om side. Der er i Danmark indført lovgivning, der forpligter de største offentlige og private virksomheder til at adressere kønsbalancen i de øverste ledelseslag. Derudover accepterer danskere generelt det argument, at ligestilling og mangfoldighed er godt for bundlinjen. Alligevel har danske virksomheder og universiteter over tid vist sig yderst både tilbageholdende og rådvilde, hvad angår konkrete initiativer med henblik på f.eks. at forbedre kønsbalancen blandt ledere eller professorer eller at skabe en mere inkluderende kultur for kvinder. Derfor undersøger afhandlingen, hvad der kan motivere organisationer til at implementere ligestillings-og diversitetstiltag.
DANSK SOCIOLOGI • Nr. 2/31. årg. 2020 93
Forsvaret 28. maj 2020
Ea Høg Utoft
Dansk Center for Forskningsanalyse, Statskundskab, Aarhus Universitet
Aandlingen kan tilgås her: hps://polica.dk/policas-phd-serie/ea-hoeg-uto/
Danmark betragtes ofte som et foregangsland, når det handler om kønsligestil-
ling. Men dee billede kan og bør nuanceres. Overordnet set er den danske
kontekst kendetegnet ved, at komplekse og ofte selvmodsigende antagelser om
køn og ligestilling lever side om side. Der er i Danmark indført lovgivning, der
forpligter de største oentlige og private virksomheder til at adressere kønsba-
lancen i de øverste ledelseslag (Erhvervsstyrelsen, 2018). Derudover accepterer
danskere generelt det argument, at ligestilling og mangfoldighed er godt for
bundlinjen (Eurobarometer, 2012, 2017; Rennison, 2014). Alligevel har danske
virksomheder og universiteter over tid vist sig yderst både tilbageholdende
og rådvilde, hvad angår konkrete initiativer med henblik på f.eks. at forbedre
kønsbalancen blandt ledere eller professorer eller at skabe en mere inkluderen-
de kultur for kvinder. Derfor undersøger aandlingen, hvad der kan motivere
organisationer til at implementere ligestillings- og diversitetstiltag. Motivation
er derved det centrale begreb og kan forstås som pres eller incitamenter, der
Motivation, organisational
gender equality work and the
postfeminist gender regime:
A feminist approach
Ea Høg Utoft
DANSK SOCIOLOGI • Nr. 2/31. årg. 2020
94
leder til en handling. I den danske kontekst eksisterer der, som beskrevet oven-
for, både pres (lovgivning) og incitament (prot), som burde kunne (men som
ikke har formået at) lede til handling på ligestillingsområdet. Det lader altså til,
at vores traditionelle forståelse af, hvad motivation er, ikke kan opfange, hvad
der er på spil, når det specikt gælder ligestillingsinitiativer i organisationer.
Derfor gentænker aandlingen motivationsbegrebet ved at undersøge, hvordan
forskellige faktorer, pres og incitamenter leder til ligestillingsarbejde (eller ikke)
i en virksomhed og på universiteterne.
To af aandlingens tre empiriske analyser bygger på et etnogrask studie,
som blev gennemført i en dansk, multinational ingeniørvirksomhed. Ud over
observationer indeholder det etnograske materiale også 26 interviews. Den
tredje empiriske analyse er en interviewundersøgelse med fokus på den aka-
demiske kontekst baseret på 11 dybdegående, semi-strukturerede interviews.
Forskningsdeltagerne var i alle studierne ligestillingspraktikere, dvs. medar-
bejdere i Human Resources eller Corporate Social Responsibility, administra-
tive medarbejdere i forskellige funktioner samt ledere på forskellige niveauer.
De to anvendte forskningsmetoder (observation og interviews) og de tre em-
piriske delstudier er bundet sammen i kraft af deres forankring i feministisk
epistemologi, som først og fremmest understreger forskerens rolle i at skabe
og forme forskningsprocessen.
Med udgangspunkt i den ovenfor beskrevne præmis og tilgang nder den-
ne aandling, at danske ligestillingspraktikere manøvrerer i et ekstremt snæ-
vert handlerum, som fremstår som et minefelt af komplekse forståelser af og
holdninger til deres arbejde. Trods udbredt modstand mod ligestillingstiltag
tyder aandlingens analyser dog på, at praktikere besidder og kan fastholde
et højt niveau af indre motivation til at bidrage til arbejdet for ligestilling i
deres respektive organisationer. På det organisatoriske niveau kan kulturel-
le narrativer på forskellige måder udgøre støefaktorer for ligestillingstiltag
ved at bidrage til at sikre de omstændigheder, der øger chancen for, at inter-
ventioner skaber den ønskede eekt. Positive kulturelle narrativer kan rum-
me problematiske aspekter, som for eksempel stereotype kønsopfaelser eller
et maskulint ledelsesideal, som kan undergrave velmente ligestillingsinitiati-
ver, og negative kulturelle narrativer kan indeholde potentielt værdifuld læ-
ring, som kan komme fremtidige initiativer til gode (Utoft, 2020). Derudover
fremstår dynamikker i det internationale marked (særligt USA og Storbritan-
nien) samt feministiske bevægelser i udlandet (Storbritannien) som centrale
»drivere« af ligestillingsarbejde i den historisk danske ingeniørvirksomhed,
hvorimod den danske kontekst efter alt at dømme ikke huser tilsvarende me-
kanismer, der kan motivere organisationer til at engagere sig i ligestillingsar-
bejde ud over det lovmæssigt denerede minimum. Dee kan forstås som en
konsekvens af forskellige velfærdsmodeller og markedsstrukturer, da USA
og Storbritannien historisk har været mindre tilbøjelige til at lovgive for at re-
gulere eksempelvis arbejdstid og adgang til forældreorlov, men i stedet lader
DANSK SOCIOLOGI • Nr. 2/31. årg. 2020 95
virksomheder og markedskræfterne styre sådanne vilkår (Esping-Andersen,
1999; Lister, 2009). Derudover har både USA og Storbritannien markant mere
mangfoldige befolkninger end Danmark, hvilket betyder, at legitimitetspres-
set til at adressere særligt racisme er tilsvarende stærkt i disse lande (Lor-
biecki & Jack, 2000; Risberg & Søderberg, 2008).
Det kan måske virke overraskende, at centrale drivere for ligestillings-
arbejde i en dansk virksomhed skal ndes uden for landets grænser, endog
i lande, som generelt betragtes som mindre ligestillede end Danmark. Så
derfor, for at udfolde denne konklusion, konstrueres den danske kontekst i
aandlingen på baggrund af et omfaende lieraturstudie, som et »postfe-
ministisk kønsregime«. Postfeminisme er ikke en variation af politisk eller
aktivistisk feminisme, men derimod en diagnose af en kontekst, der er for-
ankret i et grundlæggende paradoks, nemlig en samtidig fejring og fornæg-
telse af feminisme (Gill, 2007; McRobbie, 2009). Dee betyder, at feminis-
men fejres som noget, der i fortiden havde succes med at sikre ligestilling for
kvinder, hvilket medfører den overbevisning, at der ikke længere er noget
behov for feminisme i dag. Denne dobbelthed kommer til udtryk i en række
udbredte, komplekse og ofte selvmodsigende antagelser omkring køn og
ligestilling, som har konkrete konsekvenser for menneskers liv, inklusive
på arbejdspladserne og dermed også for organisationers ligestillingsarbej-
de. Da det postfeministiske begreb ikke tidligere har vundet stort indpas i
dansk forskning, bidrager aandlingens brug af det til kønsforskningen og
kønsdebaen generelt ved at belyse ulighed og ligestillingsarbejde i organi-
sationer i Danmark fra dee hidtil oversete perspektiv. For at underbygge
argumentet om, at Danmark med ree kan betragtes som et postfeministisk
kønsregime, benyes neden for en række analyser, der får den postfemini-
stiske dobbelthed til at træde frem.
Danmark som et postfeministisk kønsregime
Allerede i 1970’erne og 1980’erne var Denmark blandt de mest ligestillede lan-
de i verden i forhold til eksempelvis kvinders deltagelse på arbejdsmarkedet
og oentlige børnepasningsmuligheder (Borchorst, 2004, 2009). Denne tidlige
succes har antageligvis medført, at danskere i dag i langt overvejende grad
abonnerer på den postfeministiske myte at »ligestilling er opnået« (Euroba-
rometer, 2012, 2017; Dahlerup, 2018). At ligestilling opfaes som opnået er
tilsyneladende en kilde til stolthed, hvilket har medvirket til, at kønsligestil-
ling, fra politisk side, er udnævnt som en helt central, dansk kerneværdi (Kul-
turministeriet, 2016). Det til trods har danske politikere i årtier generelt af-
stået fra at gå aktivt ind i den ligestillingspolitiske agenda (Borchorst, 2004,
2009; Dahlerup, 2018). Denne passivitet er formentligt også et produkt af, at
den ellers historisk stærke danske kvindebevægelse svækkedes især i løbet af
1990’erne, hvormed presset nedefra forsvandt (Borchost, 2009). I dag er mod-
stand mod feministisk aktivisme og politik stærk i Danmark (Yougov.co.uk,
DANSK SOCIOLOGI • Nr. 2/31. årg. 2020
96
2018; Orange & Duncan, 2019). Derudover udviser danskere i internationale
undersøgelser påfaldende traditionelle og kønsstereotype opfaelser af ek-
sempelvis kvinders og mænds kompetencer, ambitioner og ønsker med hen-
syn til karriere og familie (Eurobarometer, 2012). Ikke desto mindre topper
Danmark internationale ligestillingslister (Equal Measures, 2019), samtidig
med at vi klarer os konsekvent dårligere i internationale sammenligninger år
for år (Hausman et al., 2008; Schwab et al., 2018). På denne måde giver den
danske kontekst et billede af succes og progressivitet side om side med stag-
nation, tøven og modstand.
Danmark kan med ree fejre mange store ligestillingsfremskridt. Der ek-
sisterer dog stadig punkter, som generelt vedrører kvinders politiske og øko-
nomiske empowerment, som bliver ved med at være en torn i det ellers umid-
delbart så ligestillede danske samfunds øje. Det er dermed bekvemt men ikke
sandt at fastholde den postfeministiske myte om, at ligestilling er opnået i
Danmark. Konsekvensen af denne myte er ydermere, som aandlingen illu-
strerer, den passivitet, rådvildhed – og i høj grad modstand – på ligestillings-
området, som har karakteriseret den danske kontekst igennem en lang år-
række. Det vil kræve handling, hvis Danmark fremadreet skal leve op til sit
ry som en verdensleder på ligestillingsområdet, og så længe danske politikere
ikke reagerer, vil ansvaret for handling ligge hos individuelle virksomheder
og universiteter. Som denne aandling tydeligt viser, er det at lave ligestil-
lingsarbejde i organisationer langt fra et ukompliceret forehavende, hvilket
kan have med det postfeministiske kønsregimes mange modsatreede ten-
denser at gøre. Det kan være en forbedret forståelse af denne kompleksitet,
som vil kunne hjælpe os videre herfra. I kraft af dets evne til at få tvetydighed
og selvmodsigelser til at træde i forgrunden, viser aandlingen, hvordan det
postfeministiske begreb kan spille en afgørende rolle i den forbindelse.
Opsummering og bidrag
På den ene side bidrager aandlingen til lieraturen om køn, ligestilling og
organisationer ved at besvare spørgsmålet »Hvad kan motivere organisatio-
ner til at lave ligestillingsarbejde?«. Foruden at identicere forskellige moti-
vationer, ud over individers personlige motivation, udfolder aandlingens
analyser også, hvordan disser motivationer kan (eller ikke kan) lede til hand-
ling på ligestillingsområdet. I den forbindelse spiller kontekst en afgørende
rolle. Derved bidrager aandlingen på den anden side til en bedre forståelse
af, hvad der kan motivere organisationer til ikke at lave ligestillingsarbejde, og
det postfeministiske kønsregime præsenteres som en del af svaret. En kontek-
stualiseret forståelse af motivation i relation til ligestillingsarbejde kan vise
sig afgørende for politikere og beslutningstagere i organisationer, hvis Dan-
mark har en ambition om i fremtiden igen at leve op til sit gode ry som en
ledende nation på ligestillingsområdet.
DANSK SOCIOLOGI • Nr. 2/31. årg. 2020 97
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Reproduced with permission of copyright owner. Further
reproduction prohibited without permission.
... In my PhD dissertation (Utoft, 2020a), I theorized the Danish context as a 'postfeminist gender regime' in order to better understand why Denmark seems to stand out -and not in a particularly flattering light -in comparison with the other Scandinavian countries. Most recently, Denmark plummeted down the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Index from number 14 in 2020 to number 29 in 2021. ...
... All of the above mentioned factors compile to delegitimize women's experiences of discrimination, reinforcing the individualization of the problem which leaves the status quo of masculine work cultures unquestioned (Utoft, 2020a). Furthermore, when 'perceived gender equality' (or 'modern sexism') is high -as in the postfeminist gender regime -opposition to the #MeToo movement is likewise, which reduces support for organizational interventions to prevent and adequately address sexual harassment . ...
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The article argues that understanding the Danish context as a 'postfeminist gender regime' enables us to understand decades of denial and passivity with respect to addressing sexism and sexual harassment within Danish academia. However, the responses of Danish universities to a surge of #MeToo outcries in 2020 suggest that we may be witnessing a move post-postfeminism. While the postfeminist common sense no longer precludes preventative or responsive institutional actions all together, it continues to encourage only individualized and individualizing actions, which risk failing to address sexism and sexual harassment in all their complexity.
... Danish academics still struggle to hear the voices addressing challenges regarding gender equality (Skewes et al., 2019;Høg Utoft, 2020), sexism, and sexual harassment (Skewes et al., 2021). ...
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Congratulations to Dr. McRobbie! This book has been named to the list of books for the 2009 Critics Choice Book Award of the American Educational Studies Association (AESA).These essays show Angela McRobbie reflecting on a range of issues which have political consequence for women, particularly young women, in a context where it is frequently assumed that progress has been made in the last 30 years, and that with gender issues now 'mainstreamed' in cultural and social life, the moment of feminism per se is now passed. McRobbie trenchantly argues that it is precisely on these grounds that invidious forms of gender -re-stabilisation are able to be re-established. Consumer culture, she argues, encroaches on the terrain of so called female freedom, appears supportive of female success only to tie women into new post-feminist neurotic dependencies. These nine essays span a wide range of topics, including - the UK government's 'new sexual contract' to young women, - popular TV makeover programmes, - feminist theories of backlash and the 'undoing' of sexual politics, - feminism in a global frame- the 'illegible rage' underlying contemporary femininities.
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