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Swimming against the tide: Doing feminist research in a male dominated profession
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by G Neal
Women solicitors remain a minority in the Queensland legal profession, and they do not reach the senior ranks of the profession as readily as their male counterparts. Are women dragged under in the churning waters of daily legal practice - left to limp ashore and seek calmer waters elsewhere? Or, do they wait on the beach afraid to enter the murky waters of a male dominated profession? The writer weathered the stormy seas of legal practice, and saw other women clinging to passing lifeboats. Do men also founder on hidden shoals? Do women and men have different perceptions of themselves and of each other in the competition to ride the waves of legal practice success? This paper examines the development and design of a research protocol specifically aimed at answering these, and other, key questions about the daily lived experiences of women lawyers. It examines the emergence of the key research questions; the reasons for placing the project within a feminist methodological framework; the particular methods chosen to address the research questions (including the decision to involve both women and men in the project); and the value of a multi-method approach.