Personnel departments often have particular responsibility for equal opportunities within their organizations. This paper explores equal opportunities within personnel departments themselves, in relation to the careers of ethnic minority personnel practitioners. Through primary research, it identifies a range of criteria which can affect personnel careers, of which ethnic origin is often one. However, although being categorized as of ethnic minority origin often hinders personnel careers, the paper reveals that it is sometimes possible for individuals who are so categorized to overcome that negative effect through demonstrating some of those other criteria. Thus, the paper suggests, it is not just organizational equal opportunities practices which may provide hope for ethnic minority personnel careers but also – and perhaps more importantly – the actions of the ethnic minority individuals themselves. Ways in which personnel departments might support these actions are discussed.
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