Swethaa Ballakrishnen, Nevertheless They Persisted: Gendered Frameworks and Socialization Advantages in Indian Professional Service Firms, 55 Can. Rev. Soc. 343 (2018).
This article uses the Indian case to offer further nuance to these narratives about the impact of global cultures on the gendered experience of professional work. I find that while gender certainly infiltrates all workspaces through the framework of a background identity, there remain occupational and organizational differences in the ways in which women experience their environments. Particularly, while Indian women lawyers overall are more disadvantaged in many ways than their international counterparts, women lawyers in very elite law firms do much better than both their local and global peers. A confluence of factors might be responsible for this unusual experience of professional work, but this Article highlights the importance of one set of supply side dynamics: the variations in socializing experiences and expectations before professionals enter elite firms. In doing so, it adds to the literature that suggests the importance of early training and educational socialization for gender egalitarian outcomes in the workforce (e.g. Cech 2015; Seron et al. 2016). It also lends credence to the “pipeline” fix for gender equality by highlighting the substantive influence of increased representation on the ways men and women both think about their careers. Further, it reveals the particular global stickiness of gender frameworks (Ridgeway 2011): all sites are gendered, but the specification of these gendered identities are impacted by their respective embedded cultural contexts.