STEM-Professional Women's Exclusion in the Canadian Space Industry: Anchor Points and Intersectionality at the Margins of Space

Stefanie Ruel
Concordia University, Canada

Product Details
21 Jan 2019
Emerald Publishing Limited
304 pages - 152 x 229mm
Critical Management Studies
STEM-Professional Women’s Exclusion in the Canadian Space Industry: Anchor Points and Intersectionality at the Margins of Space showcases the ‘how’ of exclusion of STEM-professional women from management and executive positions. It examines the discourses and power-relations surrounding these STEM-professional women’s identities, drawing on and reworking the concept of anchor points to investigate their relationship to structural, discursive, and socio-psychological processes. By utilizing the critical sensemaking (CSM) framework, the book provides an avenue to surface the ephemeral identities of STEM-professional women, and investigate their relationship with the meta-rules, rules, and social values of the Canadian space industry. It also considers the potential for social change across this industry by considering the responsibilities of cisgender men with respect to addressing and resisting the systemic discrimination of STEM-professional women in the industry. Specific sites for micro-political resistances that these STEM-professional women could enact are considered and suggested. 

This book will appeal to researchers and scholars focused on gender and diversity, intersectionality scholarship, and poststructuralist intersectional feminism.
Chapter 1. The View from Earth 
Chapter 2. Forms of Context 
Chapter 3. Forms of Knowledge 
Chapter 4. Forms of Experiences 
Chapter 5. Research Methodology 
Chapter 6. STEM Professional Women’s Range of Anchor Points 
Chapter 7. Canadian Space Industry’s Forms of Context and STEM-Professional Women’s Dominant Ideas and Practices 
Chapter 8. Relationship between STEM-Professional Women’s Anchor Points and Forms of Context, and Forms of Experiences 
Chapter 9. Revealing the ‘How’ of an Exclusionary Order, and Social Justice Initiatives Final Word: My Journey
Stefanie Ruel, DBA, is an early career scholar, who successfully defended her dissertation at Athabasca University, Canada, in late November 2017. She is an Assistant Professor at Concordia University, John Molson School of Business, Canada. Her research focus includes a critical examination of intersectionality, gender and diversity in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) context, and in the area of ‘forced’ ageing and menopause. She has presented at a number of academic conferences, including Academy of Management (AOM), the Critical Management Studies Conference, and the Gender, Work, and Organization (GWO) Conference.
‘You probably haven’t read many books about women scientists working in the space industry, perhaps because there are not many (in both senses). This book, STEM-Professional Women’s Exclusion in the Canadian Space Industry, from a senior space scientist, formerly the only female mission manager in the Canadian Space Agency, examines in depth and in detail the identities, experiences, careers and career anchors, discourses and contexts of women, and some men, in the sector. By way of expert feminist intersectional poststructuralist analysis, it brings many insights, not just for STEM-professions and professionals, but the wider worlds of men’s organizational domination and men’s protected and excluding bastions.’ - Jeff Hearn, Senior Professor, Gender Studies, Örebro University, Sweden; Professor Emeritus, Management and Organisation, Hanken School of Economics, Finland; Professor of Sociology, University of Huddersfield, UK; author of Men of the World

‘Women's exclusion has become visible in this highly novel book on the Canadian space industry. STEM-professional women's experiences, their agency and the ways in which they move beyond the positions assigned to them institutionally and professionally are analysed with care through theoretically rigorous debates surrounding identity, power and difference. As readers, we learn about remarkable women in a unique context, and thus teaches us about the ways in which history shapes the present lived experiences of women working in male dominated environments. Excitedly, this book enables us to think what future is possible for women as they continue to break through what would have historically been seen as impossible barriers. A must read.’ - Alison Pullen, Professor of Management and Organization Studies, Macquarie University, Joint Editor-in-Chief, Gender, Work and Organization

‘This book is a beautifully written synthesis of intersectionality and critical sensemaking in one of the most exciting contexts of our time, space. Stefanie Ruel’s unique voice and her insightful appropriation of a rich set of ideas to study the core question of her study, ‘how there were so few STEM-professional women managers in the Canadian space industry’, has all the ingredients of a classic in the empirical study of identity and intersectionality. Her research marks a thorough understanding of the complex relationships between context, knowledge and experience that is required to perform a detailed analysis of discourses and power-relations in such a way to reveal the exclusionary order prevailing in the space industry. Through the brilliant fusion of diverse theoretical and empirical ingredients, she has provided us a thought-provoking book that is a true adventure for the reader.’ - Päivi Eriksson, Professor, University of Eastern Finland Business School

‘Dr Stefanie Ruel is the only woman to fulfil the role of Life Sciences Mission Manager in the billion-dollar Canadian space industry, a sector which is dominated by White cismen. In this beautifully written and highly engaging book, Dr Ruel explores micro-level, everyday interactions in the industry to surface the discourses which make for the ongoing exclusion of women from scientific, technical, engineering and mathematical management positions. Her data is drawn from detailed interviews with men and women in the space industry and analysis of publicly available documents. The book provides a compelling lens on an industry which is under-researched in organization studies and a much-needed corrective to research which focuses only on ‘who’ and ‘how many’ questions about gendered, raced and classed exclusion and discrimination. It also makes a powerful case around the resistances that female STEM professionals can mount in the space industry as well as how their male colleagues can support them in enacting social change. Put simply, it is a must read for anyone interested in difference, identity, discrimination and exclusion, in organizations and elsewhere.’ - Jo Brewis, Professor, Department of People and Organizations, The Open University Business School

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