Sexism and project studies: the case of construction and engineering organizations

Sara Hajikazemi, Giorgio Locatelli

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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Sexism involves antipathy toward, and negative stereotypes about, agentic women. This phenomenon which has the effect of handicapping selected groups in terms of salary and access to jobs, promotions, and power, is particularly relevant to male-dominated professions such as construction and engineering. Despite the importance of this topic and the potential negative impact it can have, in a project context, project management literature lacks from an inclusive framework which defines the most common forms of sexism in projects and it potential consequences at organization and individual levels. This research will focus particularly on engineering and construction sector, which are among the most male-dominated industries in every developed society. The purpose of this study is to report a review on business management and engineering literature to examine the perception of sexism and how other researchers have pointed out to this phenomenon. This will be done through a thematic analysis which reveals that the existing literature on sexism and gender bias within construction and engineering organizations is focused on four main areas including 1) nature and source of sexism, 2) current situation of the construction and engineering sector with regards to inequality and underrepresentation of women and barriers and challenges for women in these environments, 3) the consequences of sexism and 4) strategies for dealing with and reducing sexism in construction and engineering organizations. Considering the scarcity of theories and frameworks to support gender equality in a project context, this research suggests that researchers in the field of project management should adopt a broader view in identifying the existing challenges in order to include the overarching effects of sexism on success of projects.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes
EventEuropean Academy of Management Conference 2021: Reshaping Capitalism for a Sustainable World - Online
Duration: 16 Jun 202118 Jun 2021 (Conference website.)


ConferenceEuropean Academy of Management Conference 2021
Abbreviated titleEURAM 2021
Internet address


  • construction and engineering organizations
  • sexism
  • gender bias
  • systematic literature review


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