"Challenging Professions" is an innovative, interdisciplinary collection of 13 thematically linked yet methodologically diverse essays that explore Canadian women's engagement with professional education and employment in the 20th century. Guided by a co-authored introduction, this collection critically examines how women's entry into and continued participation in the professions not only contested but also challenged a concept of professionalism that was and remains profoundly gendered. The collection as a whole explores change over time and the differences between professions peopled mostly by men and those whose members are chiefly women. The difficulties of combining family and profesional commitment and the impact of professional on personal life are further integrating themes. "Challenging Professions" raises questions not only about women's relationships to the professions, but about the professions themselves, adding to the literature that demonstrates that the meaning of professionalism is historically and culturally contingent.
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