In this talk, Birgit Kolboske discusses her book Hierarchien. Das Unbehagen der Geschlechter mit dem Harnack-Prinzip, which will be published this autumn in English as Hierarchies. The Max Planck Society in Gender Trouble. (Open Access Link)
Contrary to common belief, organizational structure is never gender neutral, and the Max Planck Society, one of the world’s most successful research institutions, is an organization whose employment structure and work culture featured a clear gender segregation. This is exemplified and impressively illuminated by two areas: the first is where only very few women were admitted to leading positions, namely science; and the second is where most of them worked most of the time, namely the office. The study analyses the obstacles women had to face over the first fifty years since the Max Planck Society was founded in 1948, and it discusses the changes that have been fought for, negotiated and achieved since.