Gender Equality in Public Services
Chasing the Dream
Routledge – 2014 – 224 pages
Equality of opportunity is a phrase that is embedded in the language of most organizations, even if it is not always identifiable in their practices. Since the civil rights movement in the US, and anti-discrimination legislation of the 1970s in the UK, jolted organizations on both sides of the Atlantic into taking the concept seriously, public service delivery has often led the way both in terms of developing new approaches and sometimes in highlighting the disturbing extent of social inequality.
Gender Equality in Public Services offers an analysis of how the organization of gender equality work in British public services is changing in response to legislation, the privatisation of and reduced state expenditure on public services, the devolution of power from central to regional and local government, and the rise of third wave feminism. The book also takes a look at the challenges and opportunities for promoting women’s equality in employment and public services during these times of change.
The issues covered affect most advanced economies and the argument developed in the book draws from and contributes to international feminist debates and research literature on the potential of equality and gender mainstreaming work for radical and transformational change, and to feminist organization theory. As such, it will appeal to students, researchers and practitioners interested in the lived experience of equality policy and change processes, feminist organization theory and gender mainstreaming practice.
1. Introduction 2. The Changing Discourses of Women’s Equality Work in a Volatile Political Landscape 3. Dreams and Visions of Feminist Equality 4. Gender Equality Work in Flux: The Changing Organization and Politics of Gender Equality Work in the UK Local Government and Public Services 5. Feminist Researchers Creating Spaces for Change 6. Re-Imagining Equality Change
Hazel Conley is Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management at the Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity, School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London, UK
Margaret Page is Senior Lecturer in Organization Studies at the Faculty of Business and Law, University of the West of England, UK