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Gender and Agency in Careers: The Work-lIfe Experiences of Women Employed by Japanese and South Korean Firms

On Wednesday 14 February 2024 Yorum Beekman successfully defended a doctoral thesis and graduated.

C.H.Y. Beekman
14 February 2024
Leiden Repository

This in-depth study explores how women navigate corporate careers and take decisions in pursuit of a meaningful work and personal life. It analyzes the lived experiences of female employees working at major firms in Japan and South Korea to reveal how women's agency interacts with a changing environment inside and outside the workplace. It applies the comprehensive Gender Organization System's framework and interpretive approach with life story interview method to identify constellations of factors that influence women's work-family behaviors and attitudes over time. The careful analysis of individual interviews with 24 Korean and 39 Japanese women underscores that we must first understand the specific contexts individuals deal with in localized settings and explore women's personal interpretations of broad concepts to advance the increasingly broad theories in the gender and work literature. The findings suggest that dynamics and conditions at the work group level, and particularly the role of immediate supervisors, are of higher significance than the general organizational or socio-institutional context.

Supervisor: Prof.dr. R.E. Breuker
Co-supervisor: Dr. A. Ezawa

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