Equal opportunities policies in Europe are finding themselves in the middle of a paradox. On the one hand, after years of campaigning, the European Community and the Treaty of Rome have insured a legal framework for equality of opportunity for men and women which far exceeds what would have been likely to happen in most national states. Regarding individual employers, the number of organisations proclaiming to be equal opportunities employers and introducing measures to positively counter discrimination has never been higher. In Britain this is best exemplified by Opportunity 2000 and Britain is not alone in Europe with a concern for the underutilisation of women's labour. Initiatives in the field of race discrimination are less widespread and suffer from the absence of any EC remit in this area. However, at least in some European countries such as Britain and the Netherlands, the debates on equality of opportunities increasingly have left their narrow focus on gender issues and are beginning to include race discrimination. Without wanting to overstate the effectiveness of these initiatives in practice, particularly in improving working conditions for women and black people in lower paid or skilled jobs, there appears to be then, at the beginning of the 1990s, a relatively favourable institutional base from which to fight discrimination in employment.
Hegewisch, A. (1992), "Equal Opportunities Policies and Developments in Human Resource Management: A Comparative European Analysis", Management Research News, Vol. 15 No. 5/6, pp. 15-15. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb028211
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