Women Changing Work

Women Changing Work

Women Changing Work

Women Changing Work


Women are changing work; the work force, the work place, the way we think of work, and how we work, according to this important new book which documents the experiences of over 200 women in jobs traditionally held by men. Lunneborg, retired professor of psychology, shows how the workplace is improved by greater numbers of women. She interviews women doctors, lawyers, engineers, landscape architects, brokers, state legislators, police, firefighters, carpenters, and electricians. The result is a stimulating account of how women are not only contributing to the work force but are changing the very concept of work.


This book starts from the premise that women do work differently than men, maybe not very differently but detectibly so. Going one step further, I reasoned that women in nontraditional, male-dominated jobs might not only do their jobs differently from male colleagues but that they might, over time, change the way that work gets done. Perhaps women's values and concerns, women's physical and social characteristics, would make a significant impression on the male-dominated workplace.

This is not a traditional research study. It is instead a feminist discourse in which the views of feminist writers are presented in prologues to each part, followed by chapters containing the evidence I sought out and found to corroborate those writers' ideas. This book documents, then, the unique ways that feminists have predicted and perceived that women would perform "men's jobs." It thus presents three viewpoints: first, those of the literature; then, the views of the women interviewed; and finally, my views based on twenty years of teaching and research in counseling psychology and women's studies.

Women Changing Work is biased and one-sided. I asked only five questions, and they are what the book is about. It isn't balanced in the sense of asking, as well, how nontraditional jobs change women or how male coworkers are not changing or how the women do their jobs just like the men. It's not about sexual harassment or discrimination. in fact, it slants away from the negative. This is a celebratory book about a becoming-perceptible transformation, the reworking of male occupations based on women's unique life experiences.

The data come from interviews I and my research assistants did during a two-year period, 1985-1987. We had fun doing the interviews. It's . . .

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