Open Access

Class and Masculinity in Contemporary Management Consulting Firms: Some Practical Recommendations


It is relatively unusual for white, working-class men to find employment in prestigious management consultancy firms. When they do find employment in these firms, their working-class masculinity is seen as problematic, and not in line with clients’ and co- workers’ expectations. In turn, they must modify their identity, by learning and enacting what the literature refers to as “corporate masculinity”. But how does this learning process occur? And how can consultancy firms better integrate working class men, to maximise the value of their contributions? Based on empirical research we conducted (Giazitzoglu and Muzio, forthcoming), this short piece explores the experiences of a pool of white working-class men who found employment as IT specialists in a prestigious management consultancy firm. After discussing our research and what it reveals about the way professionals from working class backgrounds learn corporate masculinity, we consider some practical recommendations.