Behind the Mask: Hybrid Identity Work of Indian Women Managers in Corporate South Africa

in African and Asian Studies
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There is a dearth of research on how women managers engage in hybrid identity work during their career transitions, and the aim of this study was to fill this gap. Interviews were conducted with 13 Indian women managers in senior and top managerial positions, and the data obtained were analysed using thematic analysis. The narratives indicate that previously disadvantaged groups (Indian women in this case) are caught between subscribing to cultural values and concurrently conforming to organisational norms. Participants’ answers to the question: “Who am I as an Indian female manager?” reveal that during their career ascendency these women engage in a tremendous amount of hybrid identity work and rework related to their self-concept of being an “ideal” Indian female and simultaneously being a “perfect” manager. Nevertheless, in their career transitions to managerial positions, these women are selective in the hybrid identity work they engage in.

Behind the Mask: Hybrid Identity Work of Indian Women Managers in Corporate South Africa

in African and Asian Studies



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