discrimination, diversity and equal opportunities

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Discrimination, Diversity and Equal Opportunities. Women’s Average Pay as % of Men’s Earnings. ARE THERE OTHER GROUPS OF WORKERS WHO YOU THINK MIGHT BE DISADVANTAGED?. The Basis for Unequal Opportunities and Disadvantage?. Gender Race and Ethnicity Religion Disability Age - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Discrimination, Diversity and Equal Opportunities

  • Womens Average Pay as % of Mens Earnings

    Luxembourg89Norway86Ireland84.5Denmark83.2Sweden82Finland82Italy81.7France80.5Netherlands80Belgium79.6United States77.5Spain76.9Greece76.2UK75.9Germany75.7Portugal72.6Austria67


  • The Basis for Unequal Opportunities and Disadvantage?Gender

    Race and Ethnicity




    Sexual Orientation

  • What Opportunities are Unequal?EarningsOccupationalSectoralCareer developmentPromotionalInvolvement

  • Key IssuesWhat are the arguments against inequality and for equality of treatment?

    What explains inequality at the workplace?

    What steps are and can be taken to deal with inequality and develop equality?

  • What are the Arguments for Equality?The Business CaseBetter use of human resourcesWider customer baseWider pool for recruitmentPositive image for companyDiversity leads to innovation

  • What Explains Inequality at the Workplace?InequalityDiscriminationStructuralconditionsSituational centeredfactorsPerson centeredfactors

  • What is Discrimination?To make a distinctionFair and Unfair Distinctions

  • Forms of DiscriminationDirect versus Indirect

  • The Cause of DiscriminationDiscriminationPsychologicalpersonality typespersonal insecurities-learned behavior?PrejudiceSociologicalStereotypingGroup insecuritiesDifference in cultural normsEconomic- See structural

  • Structural/EconomicHuman Capital TheoryLabor market non discriminatoryIf groups are disadvantaged, it is because they are less productiveDifficult to test qualifications

    SegmentationHorizontal (women in health, education, retailing)Vertical (glass ceiling issue)

    Reserve armyUnemployment higher amongst ethnic minority groups

  • Person-CenteredExplanations

    Women are less ambitious?

    Women lack leadership qualities?

    Women are less self confident?

  • Situation CenteredExplanations

    Less TrainingExcluded from informal networksPoor MentoringPoor appraisal ratingsLack of family friendly practices

  • Removing Inequality and Ensuring EqualityEqualityat the workplaceThe State

    The OrganizationThe Trade UnionThe Individual

  • The State

    National GovernmentsConstitutional rightsLegislation

  • The Organizational LevelWhat actions would you suggest an organisation should adopt to help ensure equal opportunities in general and in relation to a particular group (select one of: women, ethnic group, older workers, those with particular sexual orientation)?

  • The OrganizationEqual OpportunitiesManaging DiversityLiberal ApproachRadical Approach (Jewson and Mason (1986))Short Term AgendaLong Term Agenda

  • Equal OpportunitiesFocused on the needs of members of particular groupsTreats members of a particular group as if they all share the same characteristics and experiencesUses special initiatives to focus attention on the issues affecting particular groupsEmphasis on the more, ethical and social issuesLed mainly by HR specialists

  • Liberal Approach to Equal OpportunitiesAssumptionsEveryone should be able to compete freely on the basis of abilityThis could and should be achieved by procedural impartialityGoal:Equal treatmentPractical implicationsPut into place fair proceduresRemove all barriers to equal competition between groupsIndicative PracticesDevelop an equal opportunities policyEnsure all practices (e.g. recruitment/selection, reward, career-advancement) do not discriminateConsider employee friendly policies and practices

  • Critique of Liberal ApproachRetain assumption of existing (male) management style

    Ignore informality

    Runs of risk of just paying lip service

    HR job is not a line managers job

  • Radical Approach to Equal OpportunitiesAssumptionsThose for all group are the same (equally talented)Differences in treatment must mean discriminationGoalEqual outcomePractical implicationsDirect action needed to deliberately make sure that those form particular groups are treated equallyIndicative Practices (the short term agenda)Positive discrimination (quotas)Use of targetsRetraining managersMonitoring

  • Legality of positivediscrimination?

    Efficiency concerns


    Long term agenda

    Shift societal attitudesChanging socialisationShifting educational choicesProviding more welfare supportCritique of the (short term) Radical Approach

  • Managing DiversityRecognizes that each and every employee is uniqueAims to be inclusive by focusing on needs of all employeesValues drivenMore business-focusedMainstreamed - part of all line managers jobs

  • Managing DiversityIgnores real patterns and causes of discriminationContingent- business focus makes it dependent on bottom line contributionPart of everyones job/part of nobodys job: no one to champion the issues


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