Veiling Careers: Comparing gendered work in Islamic and Foreign Banks in Pakistan

Chaudhry, Shafaq and Priola, Vincenza (2018). Veiling Careers: Comparing gendered work in Islamic and Foreign Banks in Pakistan. In: Broadbridge, Adelina M. and Fielden, Sandra L. eds. Research Handbook of Diversity and Careers. New Horizons in Management. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, pp. 375–390.



Current knowledge on gender inequality in the workplace heavily relies on Western-centric perspectives which generally do not reflect complexities and lives within other cultures. The chapter explores the gendering of banking work in Pakistan and compares work practices observed at the branch of an Islamic bank and at the branch of a multinational bank, both based in the city of Lahore. The analysis shows how organisational processes and patterns of work in the two banks are not only gendered and embedded in patriarchal systems, but are also heavily influenced by the organisational cultures that characterise these different banks. The chapter discusses the qualitatively different regimes of gender inequalities in the banking sector. It shows how work patterns and the financial emphasis of the two banks influence the ways in which women (and men) negotiate women’s careers and work performance. The chapter brings to the fore the importance of critically analysing gender practices at the intersection between organisation and society, and warns about the unproblematic application of concepts, such as career, to different cultural realities.

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