© 2016

Gender and Sexuality in Male-Dominated Occupations

Women Working in Construction and Transport


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Tessa Wright
    Pages 1-16
  3. Tessa Wright
    Pages 199-220
  4. Tessa Wright
    Pages 221-254
  5. Tessa Wright
    Pages 255-274
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 275-287

About this book


Examining women’s diverse experiences of male-dominated work, this ground-breaking book explores what sexuality and gender means to women working in the construction and transport industries. Using accounts from heterosexual women and lesbians working in professional, manual and operational roles, Gender and Sexuality in Male-Dominated Occupations adopts an intersectional approach to examine advantage and disadvantage on the basis of gender, sexuality and occupational class in these sectors. Drawing on interviews and focus groups, the author examines why women choose to enter male-dominated industries, their experiences of workplace relations, their use of women’s support networks and trade unions, and the interface between home and work lives. Presenting international and UK-based examples of effective interventions to increase women’s participation in male-dominated work, this important book highlights the need for political will to tackle women’s underrepresentation, and suggests directions for the future.  


workplace trade unions participation representation segregation LGBT Policy bodies harrassment empowerment

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.School of Business and ManagementQueen Mary University of LondonLondonUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Tessa Wright is a senior lecturer in Human Resource Management at the Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity, Queen Mary University of London, UK. Her research covers equality and discrimination at work, with an interest in strategies for advancing equality, including through trade unions. 

Bibliographic information


“This engaging text provides an important and original contribution to gender and sexuality studies. Its focus on the intersections of gender, socio-economic class and sexuality is both topical and useful; intersectionality studies in the areas of both class and sexuality are underdeveloped. The book is relevant at an international level, drawing in scholarship and research findings from a number of countries. Wright provides a really interesting analysis of women’s lived experiences, and the micro-processes associated with the gendering of the workplace.” (Surya Monro, Professor of Sociology and Social Policy, Director, Centre for Research in the Social Sciences, School of Human and Health Sciences, University of Huddersfield)

“In Gender and Sexuality in Male-Dominated Occupations, Tessa Wright contributes new research on occupational segregation and the intransigent problem of women’s low participation in the transportation and construction sectors. Her intersectional approach brings into focus the diversity of women’s experiences based on sexuality, race, age, and occupational status; and the engaging interviews cover a wide range of topics from recruitment, training, and hiring to workplace interactions, social networks, and work-family conflict. Of particular interest to policy-makers and advocates is Wright’s discussion of interventions from the UK, U.S. and South Africa as well as her recommendations for change.” (Amy M. Denissen, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Sociology, California State University Northridge)

“Here at last we have a book on women in construction and transport, a subject which, despite attracting much interest and policy effort, has been little researched. Through its intersectional analysis of women¹s experiences in these male-dominated sectors, focussing particularly on sexuality and class, this ground-breaking book succeeds in showing the value of going beyond a ‘business case’ approach.” (Professor Linda Clarke, Centre for the Study of the Production of the Built Environment (ProBE), Westminster Business School, University of Westminster)

“This is a comprehensive and in-depth account of women's experience of work in the male-dominated sectors of transport and construction. It breaks new ground in foregrounding women's own sexual identities, and class positions thus greatly contributing to existing literatures on gender and work organisation and LGBT accounts of the workplace. The author's careful and analytical use of intersectionality will make it a reference point for anyone embarking on a study of minorities and work.” (Dr. Christine Wall, Reader in Architectural and Construction History, Co-Director ProBE, (Centre for the Study of the Production of the Built Environment), Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, University of Westminster)