This study explores the identity work carried out by three female owner-managers in creative industry businesses, identified in Government reports as a discriminatory industrial sector for women in the UK. Through the development of narratives by the owners and other participants, observation of practice and review of online and offline materials, three cases emerged. These showed overlapping, different identities developed and performed through identity work. Each presented rational and logical persona as business leaders despite observation showing extensive use of intuition and gut feeling in both creative and entrepreneurial aspects of the business. Intuition and gut feeling were seen as inappropriate at work as they belonged to the home sphere, emotionally based and therefore automatically unreliable. While occupying male stereotypes and avoiding the female realm of emotion at work, these women expressed femininity through their emphasis on the maternal, ‘being a good mother' as a desired ideal being embedded in work as well as home practice.
- creative industries