Gender specification and occupational titles: An investigation of French women’s CVs


  • Caroline Lipovsky University of Sydney



CVs, Feminist language planning, French language, Language and Gender, Occupational nouns


The adoption of antidiscrimination and equal employment opportunity legislation in France in 1983 sparked feminist language reform initiatives with the aim of legitimizing women’s participation in the workforce and better representing their role in French society. This article aims to evaluate the success of these feminist language planning reforms by investigating their impact in the wider speech community. In particular, it aims to explore French women’s selection of gender specification when describing their occupations, drawing from a set of CVs collected, in 2012, from the professional social network Viadeo. The analysis shows that women have become more willing to adopt feminine job titles that highlight their gender as well as their occupation, in particular for higher status posts, thus challenging norms of usage which discriminate against women.

Author Biography

Caroline Lipovsky, University of Sydney

Caroline Lipovsky is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Sydney. She has published widely on various aspects of selfpresentation in CVs and job interviews, including the monograph Negotiating Solidarity: A Social-Linguistic Approach to Job Interviews (2010). She is the coeditor (with Ahmar Mahboob) of Studies in Applied Linguistics and Language Learning (2009).




How to Cite

Lipovsky, C. (2015). Gender specification and occupational titles: An investigation of French women’s CVs. Sociolinguistic Studies, 9(1), 93–113.