Reciprocal positions of female partners: constructing your gender identity in relation to ‘Others’

Authors: Carr, M.

Start date: 8 September 2015

Women’s intra-gender peer relationships has been an under developed area within the literature, although a growing body of research is contributing to this field. This paper aims to develop this area further by examining the reciprocal positions of female partners within an accountancy firm. It examines eight in-depth, semi-structured interviews that were analysed using Davis and Harre’s positioning theory as a theoretical framework. Five reciprocal positions were identified through asking the female partners about their networks and relationships with other female partners. In this way women were constructing and reconstructing their identities, taking up a position through discourse and then describing their reality from this position. These five positions reflect the way in which the women are ‘doing gender’ and constructing their professional identities at work by reflecting on similarities and differences they associate with the other female partners.

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