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Job crafting for female contractors in a male-dominated profession

Panteli, N and Urquhart, C ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7754-6085 (2021) Job crafting for female contractors in a male-dominated profession. New Technology, Work and Employment. ISSN 0268-1072

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Abstract

In this paper, we explore the job crafting experiences of women who left permanent employment for contracting positions in Information Technology (IT), a sector widely considered male-dominated with limited career opportunities for women. This qualitative study is based on interviews with 24 female IT contractors. Findings show that through the flexibility and autonomy that come with contracting, numerous crafting practices are adopted by female IT contractors enabling them to gain empowerment in a male-dominated environment. The study contributes to in-depth understanding of job crafting theory by showing a reflexive relationship between role and resource crafting for women in alternative forms of employment, especially those with a high degree of autonomy. By engaging directly with the experiences of these female IT contractors, we provide unique insights into what might drive women into IT contracting, and why they often stay with this option owing to the freedom and autonomy offered.

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