P034_South Africa

Identity Work of Black African Female Employees and Managers in White Western Private Organizations in South Africa and Austria – Aspects of Gender Equality and Decolonization

women of in office © pxfuel

Cooperating countries: South Africa and Austria

Coordinating institution: Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Vienna), Dr. Regine Bendl,

Partner institutions: University of Pretoria

Project duration: 1 July 2021 - 30 June 2023


Austrian private organizations in general and the majority of South African private organizations still operate on the unfair advantage of Whiteness and ethnic privilege, as a variant of whiteness, which remains uncontested and under-researched in the context of Organization Studies in these two countries. Research results show, that contexts shape not only racio-ethnic and gender identities of individuals but also the process of racialization, gendering and culturalization (e.g. Carrim/Nkomo 2016). These racialized and racializing, gendered and gendering as well as culturalized and culturalizing processes shape and reproduce particular social locations in these ‘white’ Eurocentric South African and Austrian private organizations for Black African female employees in general, and especially Black African female middle managers and senior managers. The aim of this project, therefore, is to address the influence of organizational gender equality policies and racism on identity work of Black African employees in general as well as female middle managers and senior managers in private organizations in which whiteness still prevails. Thus, we pose the question how Black African female employees as well as Black African managers, especially middle and senior managers identify with their work and the organization and how they form, repair, maintain and strengthen their managerial identities in these organizations.This research question will not only allow us to obtain intersectional information on gendered and gendering as well as racialized and racializing processes but also to generate at this intersection informed knowledge on colonizing and decolonizing processes in organizations. With this research project we intend to close a research gap on the intersection of gender equality and decolonization in Organization Studies.