Interrogating male privilege in the human services and social work education

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Noble, Carolyn and Pease, Bob (2011) Interrogating male privilege in the human services and social work education. Women in Welfare Education, 10 (1). pp. 29-38. ISSN 1834-4941


Male privilege especially in female majority industries such as social work and human service work is most evident in the absence of women from senior leadership and policy making positions, despite their numerical advantage. This article discusses the importance of viewing women‟s continued absence from senior leadership positions through the prism of male privilege. Despite sustained feminist analysis focusing on women‟s exclusion from positions of influence and the occasional successful woman who reaches the “top job, men continue to dominate in leadership positions in both public and private sector organisations” (Camilleri and Jones 2001). This remains an interesting phenomenon as the human services workforce is still largely comprised of women and the majority of graduates who enter the sector are still female (Pease 2001; Equal Opportunity in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) 2011). Notwithstanding Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action policies, the continued scarcity of women in senior leadership positions suggests new research and educational practices are needed to address this issue. By focusing on male privilege the authors challenge men to take more responsibility for promoting gender equality in organisational and educational life rather than leaving all the hard work to their women colleagues (Pease 2001; Connell 2006).

Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Historical > FOR Classification > 1607 Social Work
Historical > SEO Classification > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
Keywords ResPubID24222, male privilege, female majority industries, senior leadership, policy making positions, gender equality
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