Women’s invisible work and influence in large corporations in Sweden 1900-1970

Project leader

Funding source

Swedish Research Council - Vetenskapsrådet (VR)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2007
End date: 31/12/2009
Funding: 900000 SEK


Studies of the invisible work of women in large corporations during the 20th century are very rare. The purpose of this project is firstly to study the informal leadership functions exercised by women in large corporations, and how it has changed over time, and secondly to study women that have been involved in the top strata of the corporation and the type of work they were performing. The ambition is to investigate whether women had any influence in large corporations. The project illuminates two aspects of women’s invisible work, i.e. paid and unpaid work. The central study objects are on the one hand women that belonged to the “business elite” through marriage or kinship (daughter, mother, sister) and on the other hand female secretaries (“office wives”) and other female white-collar workers that worked closely with the male corporate leader. The project studies women that worked in a male-dominated environment, where the formal power belonged to men. I have access to archives that have not been used in earlier research. Through a study of the formal and informal work at different levels of the company as a social organisation, this project will result in new information concerning the differences between men and women in the labour market. The project is relevant also to understand the gender structure of the present labour market and the male norms of today’s large corporations.

Last updated on 2017-31-03 at 12:57