Metaphorically speaking

Constructions of gender and career in the Danish financial sector


  • Lise-Lotte Holmgreen Aalborg University



metaphor, discourse, career, gendered language


The Danish financial sector is one in which the male occupation of managerial positions still predominates, with women tending to occupy lower-ranking jobs. Previous studies in this field have pointed to biological and cultural forces as determining factors in men’s and women’s unequal positions. However, this position has been partly rejected by recent research within social constructivism which holds that in interaction men and women are positioned in certain ways due to dominant gendered discourses that can either be upheld or negotiated through the adoption of gendered subject positions. The article takes its starting point in this discussion, presenting an analysis of how in the pursuit of careers, men and women in the financial sector may metaphorically and discursively construct career possibilities and constraints, and with that the concepts of sex and gender. Furthermore, the article assesses the extent to which this construction may influence their chances of obtaining managerial positions. The data for the analysis consist of three focus group interviews conducted in a large Danish bank.

Author Biography

Lise-Lotte Holmgreen, Aalborg University

Lise-Lotte Holmgreen is Associate Professor at the Department of Language and Culture, Aalborg University, Denmark.


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How to Cite

Holmgreen, L.-L. (2013). Metaphorically speaking: Constructions of gender and career in the Danish financial sector. Gender and Language, 1(1).



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