Title

Body strategies of women leaders (a Foucauldian lens)

Abstract/Description

There is a growing body of research that argues that gender not only bifurcates male and female leadership styles, but also discriminates against bodies of women and men. This paper presents accounts of body strategies by women leaders described as the self-surveillance mechanism offered by the paradigmic model of the Panopticon (Foucault, 1979). The study contributes to the literature of Foucault’s bio-power technology as a compelling explanation for women’s compliance and collusion to the patriarchal standards of femininity as leaders. Through feminist Foucauldian lens, I observed how senior women discipline their bodies through voluntary, social, and political controls (Bartky, 1988). Gioia method (Gioia, et al, 2013) was used to analyze observations and the interviews of senior women bankers in Pakistan. Using “Purposive sampling” (Tongco, M. D. C. 2007) 20 women leaders (ageing between 32 to 62 years) from 15 financial institutions in Pakistan not only demonstrated what they feel and how they can be seen, but rather what they do by adopting strategies of attire, postures and style to achieve their professional independence This research aims to examine strategies of constraints and emancipation presented as three typologies of senior women professionals in a work environment where men dominate.

Track

Management

Session Number/Theme

Session 2B: Leadership and Workplace

Session Chair

Dr. Waheed Umrani, Institute of Business Administration, Karachi

Start Date/Time

23-6-2022 4:50 PM

End Date/Time

23-6-2022 5:10 PM

Location

Training Room 1, Marriott Hotel, Karachi

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Jun 23rd, 4:50 PM Jun 23rd, 5:10 PM

Body strategies of women leaders (a Foucauldian lens)

Training Room 1, Marriott Hotel, Karachi

There is a growing body of research that argues that gender not only bifurcates male and female leadership styles, but also discriminates against bodies of women and men. This paper presents accounts of body strategies by women leaders described as the self-surveillance mechanism offered by the paradigmic model of the Panopticon (Foucault, 1979). The study contributes to the literature of Foucault’s bio-power technology as a compelling explanation for women’s compliance and collusion to the patriarchal standards of femininity as leaders. Through feminist Foucauldian lens, I observed how senior women discipline their bodies through voluntary, social, and political controls (Bartky, 1988). Gioia method (Gioia, et al, 2013) was used to analyze observations and the interviews of senior women bankers in Pakistan. Using “Purposive sampling” (Tongco, M. D. C. 2007) 20 women leaders (ageing between 32 to 62 years) from 15 financial institutions in Pakistan not only demonstrated what they feel and how they can be seen, but rather what they do by adopting strategies of attire, postures and style to achieve their professional independence This research aims to examine strategies of constraints and emancipation presented as three typologies of senior women professionals in a work environment where men dominate.