Subtextual gendering processes: A study of Japanese retail firms in Hong Kong

Mei Ling, May WONG

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined equal opportunities for women employees in two Japanese-owned retail companies (Tairo and Okadaya) in Hong Kong. This article initially discusses the various explanations for gender inequality put forward by scholars. Since equal opportunities legislation – specifically the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO) – was introduced in Hong Kong in 1996, little research has been able to explain why gender inequality persists. The issue can alternatively be understood by examining the subtextual gendering processes. Concealed gendering processes (re)produce gender inequality based on hegemonic power, through structural, cultural, interaction and identity arrangements. Accounts of female staff at various hierarchies reveal that they are subject to these organizational and individual arrangements to various extents under the cover of SDO, which it was claimed, the companies implemented
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-276
Number of pages28
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005


  • Hong Kong
  • Japanese
  • equal opportunities
  • retail
  • subtextual gendering processes
  • women


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