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This study examines equal opportunities for women employees in two Japanese-owned (Tairo and Okadaya) retail companies in Hong Kong. This paper initially discusses the various explanations for gender inequality put forward by scholars. Since the equal opportunity legislation - specifically Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO) - was introduced in Hong Kong in 1996, little research can explain as to why gender inequality persists. The issue can altematively 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 at various extent under the cover of SDO which was claimed to be implemented in the companies.


HKIBS Working Paper Series 057-045

Recommended Citation

Wong, M. M. L. (2005). Subtextual gendering processes: A study of Japanese retail firms in Hong Kong (HKIBS Working Paper Series 057-045). Retrieved from Lingnan University website:

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