The Open UniversitySkip to content

Porn, pride and pessimism: experiences of women working in professional construction roles

Watts, Jacqueline H. (2007). Porn, pride and pessimism: experiences of women working in professional construction roles. Work, Employment and Society, 21(2) pp. 299–316.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


This qualitative study contributes to knowledge about the strategies women use to establish their presence in professional roles in the highly gendered construction sector.The article focuses on construction site culture that is hierarchical and 'laddish' with sexual harassment an entrenched feature of life on site.Women find this threatening but are unable to challenge it, because being part of the 'building team' requires their silence. These negative experiences contrast with the pride expressed in their socially useful work bringing both aesthetic and technical satisfaction. Modernization of the industry that one participant framed as 'dragging it out of the dark ages' was seen as a priority.The two most pressing issues are the long-hours culture and the conflict-ridden nature of the sector. A feminist interpretive lens is used to draw out the continuing problems women face in the industry and concludes that the prospects for change to cultural practices remain bleak.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2007 BSA publications Ltd.
ISSN: 1469-8722
Keywords: construction; feminist; professional; occupations; sexual harassment; women
Academic Unit/Department: Health and Social Care
Item ID: 9973
Depositing User: Jacqueline H. Watts
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2007
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2014 10:16
Share this page:


Scopus Citations

▼ Automated document suggestions from open access sources

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340