The Intersections of Gender with Age and Ethnicity in Hotel Careers: Still the Same Old Privileges?

Research paper by Shelagh Mooney, Irene Ryan, Candice Harris

Indexed on: 25 Jan '17Published on: 24 Jan '17Published in: Gender, Work & Organization


This article explains the value of an intersectional approach in sectoral research, using this lens to examine privilege and penalty in the female-dominated hotel sector of New Zealand. Memory-work and semi-structured interviews explored the career experiences of long-term hotel workers, highlighting the extent to which gender, intersecting with age, ethnicity and class, shape individual career choices. The key contribution of this article is to suggest that in hotels, as in other employment sectors, the apparent ‘level playing field’ at career-entry point, where merit is presumed to regulate promotional opportunities, soon disappears as the workings of power and influence within the organizational context take hold: privileges and penalties intersect.