The paper aims to demonstrate that while researcher’s background could be a factor in gaining access to research participants and to the organization, other elements like trustworthiness, reflexivity, and engaged participant listening help in overcoming gender barriers in interviewing the research participants. This paper is a reflexive account of field experience as a part of doctoral research aimed at establishing that not only could gender barriers to access to research participants be overcome, but also that a gender-outsider positionality offers insights into women’s workplace experiences that are shaped through the discourses and practices of managerialism. The field experience highlighted the possibility of gaining and sustaining access through identifying spaces of engagement where the interests of the researcher, the organization, and the research participants intersect. The field experience pointed to the significance of the researcher’s own past experience with managerialism, in taking a closer look regarding the lived experiences of women employees with managerialism. Lastly, it is demonstrated that institutional ethnographic fieldwork could also contribute to the organization’s endeavors for creating a safe, non-discriminatory, and inclusive workspace for women employees. This paper establishes that gender barriers to access to research participants could be overcome through a standpoint of trusted outsider and use of institutional ethnography.


access, embedded research, fieldwork, gatekeepers, gender barriers, institutional ethnography, organizations, organizational ethnography, participant listening, qualitative research, reflexivity

Author Bio(s)

Raghunandan Reddy has a PhD in Sociology and is an assistant professor of sociology at the Asian University for Women in Chittagong, Bangladesh. His research interests include sociology of work and organizations, organizational diversity, equity and inclusion, and gendering of organizations. He has four years of academic experience and twenty years of industry experience. Please direct correspondence to raghureddy12@gmail.com.

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.




https://orcid.org/ 0000-0002-6762-1042



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.