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Managing ServicesChallenges and Innovation$
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Kathryn Haynes and Irena Grugulis

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199696086

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199696086.001.0001

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Gender and Diversity Challenges in Professional Services Firms

Gender and Diversity Challenges in Professional Services Firms

(p.65) 5 Gender and Diversity Challenges in Professional Services Firms
Managing Services

Kathryn Haynes

Oxford University Press

The chapter considers the scope and significance of professional services firms by drawing from debates about the nature of professional services firms, and examining their impact within the economy and as employers. It evaluates how professional services limit their membership through closure regimes based on the traditional nature of professionals and professionalism. The main focus of the discussion is on gender challenges in the professional services context as a form of social closure through the need to have appropriate social and physical capital. However, the chapter also considers other forms of social closure, based on class and race among other factors, which also may interact with each other. Finally, the chapter draws out some implications for equality within professional services firms, suggesting that while classic barriers to entry have been overcome, some other inequalities remain, especially in the pursuit of promotion to higher levels and prestigious areas of work.

Keywords:   professional services, gender, closure regimes, social capital, physical capital, inequalities, professions

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