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Identité professionnelle et agressions dans les métiers spécialisés de la construction et du secteur manufacturier au Québec

Identité professionnelle et agressions dans les métiers spécialisés de la construction et du secteur manufacturier au Québec

Geneviève Cloutier et Alain Marchand

Volume : 75-1 (2020)


Focusing on the construction and manufacturing sectors in Quebec, this study explores how professional identity influences sex- and gender-related aggressions in the skilled trades. One limitation of the extant literature is its neglect of professional identity. Professional identity reflects a form of social recognition at work, built on prestige related to employment status and professional responsibilities (Ashforth and Mael, 1989).

A questionnaire was administered to 282 workers working on seven construction sites and for four manufacturers. The results of multilevel regression models, addressing variations across 54 participating teams in the study, suggested that interpersonal deviance had a direct effect on psychological aggressions. The multilevel analyses also showed that some aspects of professional identity made individuals more disposed to workplace aggressions. These include a weak integration of differences within the team, as well as insufficient social support at work. A higher skills utilization and a low concern for the group are also associated with sexual aggressions in skilled trades. In addition, low public esteem for the profession is associated with physical aggressions, while work demands and job insecurity are associated with psychological aggressions. Finally, multilevel models associated being a woman with physical and sexual aggressions.

The conclusions of this study show the importance of acting on identity dimensions in order to reduce workplace aggressions, particularly by focusing on the better inclusion of all workers in innovative processes and on their greater openness to new ideas. In terms of the culture of skilled trades, one issue is to promote feminine values based on collaboration, empathy and social support.

Keywords: sex and gender-based aggressions, professional identity, skilled trades, multilevel models.