Abstract: Jo Brewis and Kat Riach will present a theory of gendered transitions in professionals’ narratives of growing up. In the transition from adolescence to adulthood, the labour market has been cited as a key influence on individual trajectories, both on a macro level, with economic conditions often affecting educational or employment opportunities, and at a local level where employment experiences are shown to shape attitudes, beliefs and aspirations. It is therefore surprising that as yet organizational life itself has yet to be understood through the gendering effects of transitional symbols or rituals associated with ‘becoming adult’. Their paper explores how traditional conceptions of growing up inform the trajectories of both men and women in the UK financial industry through an in-depth case study of a hedge fund company. They argue that developing the concept of ‘adulting’ as a socio-cultural phenomenon demonstrates the pervasiveness of gender scripts infiltrating various facets of working life which in their turn influence career expectations, pathways and possibilities.
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