Silvia Gherardi focuses on the relationship between gender, power and culture in organizations and on the need to come to grips with the pervasive, elusive and ambiguous nature of gender in work settings. She introduces two key metaphors. The first is of the sexual contract, which centres on the sexuality of organizations and `static' gender difference. The second, of the alchemic wedding, highlights a plurality of cultural models of femaleness and of women/work relationships, and processes of dynamic difference, transformation and transcendence.
Gherardi continues her examination of the construction of gender relations in the workplace through a series of rich and illuminating stories which also draw on various symbolic archetypes as powerful forms of cultural expression. The final section of the book looks at possibilities for change, developing in particular a concept of different forms of gender citizenship of organizations.