Between Frustration and Invigoration: Women Talking about Digital Technology at Work

Sarah Mosseri, Ariadne Vromen, Rae Cooper, Elizabeth Hill

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    This study addresses the dearth of gender analysis within debates about technological innovation and workplace change. Qualitative analysis of 12 focus groups conducted with women in ‘frontline’ and ‘professional’ roles discussing their use and engagement with digital technologies at work reveals contrasting narratives of ‘digital frustration’ and ‘digital invigoration’. To explain these distinct narratives, we synthesise insights from science and technology studies with findings from scholarship on gendered work and labour market inequality to show that these differences are not driven solely by a technology’s form or the degree of automation it ostensibly represents. Instead, women’s narratives reflect an interplay between technological design, employment context and workers’ own voice and agency. These findings challenge assumptions about the totalising and transformative power of work-related technologies, redirecting attention to how social and political contestations over digital technologies inform worker experiences and shape the future of work.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1681-1698
    JournalWork, Employment and Society
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

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