Displaced women professionals: an exploration of perceived learning processes during workplace transition /
Balan, B. N.
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This study focused on obtaining a deeper understanding of the perceived learning of female professionals during workplace transition. The women's lived experiences were explored through a feminist interpretive lens (Bloom, 1998). The study also drew upon concepts from adult learning such as barriers and facilitating factors to learning, resistance, transformative learning, and multiple ways of knowing. Five women participated in a 1 -hour interview and a focus group activity. The findings are presented under the 2 broad themes of perceived learning and factors affecting learning. The most common theme of perceived learning was participants' experience of increased self-knowledge. Additionally, while learning was thought of as a struggle, it provided either an opportunity for a reexamination of goals or a reexamination of self. Reflection by participants seemed to follow two orientations and other types of perceived learning included experiential, formal, and informal learning. In the broad theme of factors affecting learning, contradictions and conflict emerged through the examination of participants' multiple subjectivities, and within their naming of many factors as both facilitating factors and barriers to learning. The factors affecting learning themes included personal relationships, professional communities, selfesteem, attitude and emotion, the gendered experience of transition, time, and finances. The final theme explored participants' view of work and their orientations to the future. A proposed model of learning during workplace transition is presented (Figure 1 ) and the findings discussed within this proposed model's framework. Additional developmental theories of women (Josselson, 1987; Levinson & Levinson, 1996), communities of practice theories (Wenger, 1998), and career resilience theories (Pulley, 1995) are discussed within the context of the proposed model. Implications to practice for career counsellors, people going through workplace transition, human resource managers and career coaches were explored. Additionally implications to theory and future areas of research are also discussed.