Shaped by resistance: Discursive politics in gender equality work

Micaela Stierncreutz*, Janne Tienari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


While existing research offers an understanding of the antecedents, forms, and consequences of resistance to gender equality work in organizations, studies primarily regard resistance as a challenge to be overcome or as something that can at times be beneficial for change. In this paper, we argue that resistance shapes gender equality work. We focus on covert forms of resistance and give voice to experts in Finland and Sweden who work for gender equality in organizations. Analyzing the discursive politics involved in (de)legitimizing and (de)politicizing equality work, we elucidate how experts deal with resistance by shaping the meaning of equality and working for it. Our findings suggest that covert resistance undermines the quest for gender equality by molding the conditions for how equality work can be done, thus influencing what it can achieve in organizations and in society.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalGender, Work and Organization
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1178-1198
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 11.01.2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • discourse
  • equality work
  • experts
  • gender equality
  • resistance

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Responsible organising


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