Power and Discourse at Work: Is Gender Relevant?

  • Janet Holmes


As women increasingly crash though the glass ceiling and reach the highest levels in politics, government institutions and corporate organizations, it is important to critically examine claims that gender is no longer an issue in the workplace. In New Zealand, in the year 2001, for example, women occupied the positions of Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition (until October), Governor General and Chief Justice, as well as Chief Executive Officer positions in influential government ministries and corporate organizations such as Telecom and Mobil. Is this evidence that gender has finally become irrelevant to women’s progress up the professional ladder? Has gender finally retreated into the background as a factor in workplace discourse? This chapter uses CDA to explore the interaction of gender and power in the workplace, and argues that, despite the apparent increase in the number of women in authoritative positions, there is little evidence that gender has become a superfluous consideration in analysing workplace interaction.


Project Team Conversation Analysis Glass Ceiling Critical Discourse Analysis Commercial Organization 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2005

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  • Janet Holmes

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