Experiences and Organisational Contributions of South-Asian Women to Social Enterprises in New Zealand
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The South-Asian diaspora has significance in the historic and social context in New Zealand. At present Asians are the third largest ethnic group in New Zealand (Statistics New Zealand, 2013). The social enterprises sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in New Zealand (Dart, 2004; Ministry of Economic Development, 2011). A growing body of literature emphasises the challenges faced by South-Asian diasporic women who have migrated across the world to acquire improved living conditions for themselves and their families (ILO & ADB, 2011). The experiences of South-Asian diasporic working women and understanding the organisational contributions made by them to social enterprises have remained relatively unexplored in organisational studies literature (Kim, 2011), so literature on this topic is limited and the lack of literature establishes a theoretical gap (Brah, 1993; Parreñas, 2001; Piper & Roces, 2003). The purpose of this research is to address this gap and to explore the experiences and organisational contributions of South-Asian diasporic women working in New Zealand social enterprises. This qualitative research adopted a subjective approach under an interpretive paradigm with individual women as the unit of analysis. The study addresses the primary research question: ‘how do South-Asian working women contribute to social enterprises in New Zealand?’ and two sub-questions: ‘what challenges (if any) did the South-Asian women face in making these contributions?’ and ‘how did these women navigate these challenges?’ Findings are based on in-depth interviews with South-Asian women employees and their managers from three Auckland-based social enterprises. The study employed the thematic analysis method and revealed six themes for organisational contributions and four themes for experiencing and navigating challenges by South-Asian diasporic women. This study brings a positive and constructive dimension to the study of South-Asian women by highlighting their organisational contributions to New Zealand social enterprises.