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Article

Paul Chaney

Draws upon recent legislative changes to Wales to provide new evidence and understanding of the way in which government reforms in the UK have impacted upon the promotion…

Abstract

Draws upon recent legislative changes to Wales to provide new evidence and understanding of the way in which government reforms in the UK have impacted upon the promotion of equality of opportunity at government level. Analyses the problems and challenges that this new legislative duty presents for the elected representatives and bureaucrats as well as the civil groups it was designed to help. Points out a wider significance of these changes and engages the debate about the relationship between government, law and the promotion of equality.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Book part

Vito Peragine and Laura Serlenga

Purpose: This paper aims at studying the degree of equality of educational opportunity in the Italian university system.Methodology: We build on the approaches developed…

Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims at studying the degree of equality of educational opportunity in the Italian university system.

Methodology: We build on the approaches developed by Peragine (2004, 2005) and Lefranc et al. (2006a, 2006b) and focus on the equality of educational opportunities for individuals of different social background. We propose different definitions of equality of opportunity in education. Then, we provide testable conditions with the aim of (i) testing for the existence of equality of opportunity (EOp) in a given distribution and (ii) ranking distributions on the basis of EOp. Definitions and conditions resort to standard stochastic conditions that are tested by using nonparametric tests developed by Beach and Davidson (1983) and Davidson and Duclos (2000).

Findings: Our empirical results show a strong family effect on the performances of students in the higher education and on the transition of graduates in the labor market. Moreover the inequality of opportunity turns out to be more severe in the South than in the regions of the North-Center.

Originality: This work contributes to the literature in three ways: first, it proposes a definition of equality of educational opportunities. Second, the paper develops a methodology in order to test for the existence of equality of opportunity in a given distribution and to rank distributions according to equality of opportunity. Third, we present empirical evidence on the degree of equality of educational opportunity in the Italian university system.

Details

Inequality and Opportunity: Papers from the Second ECINEQ Society Meeting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-135-0

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Article

Van L Jaarsveld I

Discusses principles of equality and justice in order to justify affirmative action and clarify its need. Posits that in both the USA and South Africa, issues of

Abstract

Discusses principles of equality and justice in order to justify affirmative action and clarify its need. Posits that in both the USA and South Africa, issues of segregation and discrimination are not new and both countries have had the opportunity to address their past policies by way of affirmative action programmes. Looks at what determined the denouncement of the affirmative action in the USA and why the answer to this question may have a great impact on South Africa’s attempt to improve its own affirmative action programmes. Concludes that, although 30 years of affirmative action was deemed unconstitutional, how can South Africa derive and make use of the knowledge gained to help in stopping reverse discrimination.

Details

Managerial Law, vol. 42 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0558

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Article

Gill Kirton and Anne‐marie Greene

The purpose of this paper is to address the little researched question of how trade unions have interpreted and engaged with the discourse of diversity adopted by many…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the little researched question of how trade unions have interpreted and engaged with the discourse of diversity adopted by many organisations to replace the traditional “equal opportunities” discourse.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on interviews with national trade union equality officers, the paper presents a discourse‐based analysis, exploring what the shift towards a diversity discourse means for trade unions.

Findings

The paper identifies three main features of the diversity discourse, which cause concern from the trade union perspective: its business‐driven nature, its focus on the individual and its positioning as a top‐down managerial activity. The main concern expressed was that the upbeat rhetoric of the diversity discourse diverts attention from the realities of discrimination and disadvantage. However, the discussion concludes that unions believe it is possible to work critically with diversity in order to pursue equality objectives.

Originality/value

The paper offers an original perspective on the diversity discourse, and within the field of employment relations, an unusual analytical approach.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article

Nicholas R. Johns and Alison J. Green

The purpose of this paper is to examine the aims of equal opportunities policies in the UK and to link them to market forces, European integration and the wider aims of

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the aims of equal opportunities policies in the UK and to link them to market forces, European integration and the wider aims of economic growth.

Design/methodology/approach

The theoretical literature around equal opportunities and managing diversity is examined. The paper looks at how these have been implemented in practice by examining a policy document relating to Higher Education.

Findings

The paper concludes that the policy document examined exhibits a high degree of confusion and misunderstanding about many of the key principles underlying equal opportunity theory and practice.

Originality/value

The arguments presented add to the wider debates about the nature and role of equal opportunities policies and their relationship to economic policy.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Article

Nick Johns, Sara MacBride-Stewart, Martin Powell and Alison Green

The purpose of this paper is to explore the claim that the tie-break criterion introduced under the Equality Act 2010 is not really positive action as is claimed by its…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the claim that the tie-break criterion introduced under the Equality Act 2010 is not really positive action as is claimed by its government sponsors. It evaluates this claim by locating the tie-break into equal opportunities theory, taking into account merit considerations, and reviews its potential implications.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual discussion of the tie-break.

Findings

The paper concludes that the tie-break is not positive action, nor is it positive discrimination. It employs the framework established by Forbes (1991) and attempts to locate it in theoretical discussions of the need to refine merit to take identity characteristics into account. While it could serve to make a more sophisticated approach to merit possible it fails to achieve its implicit potential in this regard.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is conceptual and will benefit from empirical support in the future.

Practical implications

Practically, the tie-break promises to add some greater clarity to the muddled understanding of equal opportunities and diversity that underpins much policy and legislation. As a result it will arguably prove hard to implement and will carry other associated problems.

Social implications

Socially, the tie-break, mis-represented as it currently is, promises to create greater uncertainty around the nature and purposes of equality of opportunity. Consequently, it could exacerbate tensions and hostilities and promote significant resistance to “equality” measures.

Originality/value

This paper is an original conceptual piece that will shine a light on an important legal innovation. The tie-break is not what it is described to be and carries both potential and threat for advocates of equality of opportunity. In pursuing socially significant outcomes of this type, conceptual accuracy and transparency are vital, and this paper contributes to this endeavour.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Book part

Vimbi Petrus Mahlangu

This chapter provides an exciting opportunity to advance our knowledge of equality and diversity of students in higher education (HE). My main reason for choosing this…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter provides an exciting opportunity to advance our knowledge of equality and diversity of students in higher education (HE). My main reason for choosing this topic is personal interest.

Design

Critical race theory (CRT) and the social identity theory were used as analytical tools in understanding equality and diversity of students in higher education.

Findings

Managing equality and diversity of students in higher education can be done through the tournament conception, trial conception, leveling conception, remedy conception, and job-interview conception. The primary intrinsic limit to equality of opportunity of students in higher education institutions (HEIs) is the persistence of irreducible differences between families in their economic, social, and cultural resources. Policy can partly compensate for economic differences but can scarcely eliminate the potency of the family in cultural capital and social networks. Students from advantaged social groups enjoy more access to elite universities through the influence of policies. Disadvantaged students from social groups are excluded from accessing top HEIs. Students in elite universities enjoy more advanced educational opportunities than those in nonelite universities, and they are more advantaged to be placed in the job market.

Research Limitations

Student pedagogic (content knowledge) and formative (evaluation) opportunities in HEIs may not be achieved when equality and diversity is dissociated from its academic content and reduced to access for the sake of access. Universities are expected to develop a repertoire of lecturing methods to enable students to learn (Gudmundsdottir, 1990, p. 47). Students constrained by financial considerations, or not given a choice, are not in a position to achieve equality and diversity in their choices of the benefits offered by HEIs as the constrains may limit them from having the necessary resources. Differences between the students’ contexts of learning may also place limit to their performance ability because of the differentiated contextual background. Recruit of students to universities should include students from diverse contextual backgrounds. In addition, universities ought to integrate diversity management with their admission policies and other strategic choices. The chapter focuses only on equality and diversity for students in HEIs. Again, it is limited by relying on the researcher’s experiences and literature review only. In addition, interviews with students and staff at universities were not done because literature reviewed gave more information from researches based on findings of other scholars.

Originality

Higher education institutions (HEIs) should engage students and listen to their needs for equality and diversity to be realized. Debate continues about the best strategies for the management of discrimination that comes in many forms depending on the perceptions of the individuals affected.

Details

Diversity within Diversity Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-172-9

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Article

Rosanna Duncan, Julianne Mortimer and Jane Hallas

The UK Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 places a statutory duty on all public authorities to promote race equality throughout all their functions. The purpose of this…

Abstract

Purpose

The UK Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 places a statutory duty on all public authorities to promote race equality throughout all their functions. The purpose of this paper is to discuss steps being taken by social landlords in Wales and contractors and consultants to promote race equality within the construction procurement process.

Design/methodology/approach

The principle methods of data collection were focus groups with social landlords and postal questionnaires and semi structured telephone interviews with construction contractors and consultants.

Findings

Little action is being taken by social landlords in Wales to promote race equality within the construction procurement process. Furthermore, construction contractors and consultants that undertake work on behalf of social landlords are doing little to ensure race equality within their own organisations.

Research limitations/implications

A relatively small sample of construction contractors and consultants took part in the research.

Practical implications

In order to meet their obligations under current legislation social landlords need to ensure that they promote race equality within the procurement process. Construction companies including maintenance and minor works contractors that aspire to be engaged by social landlords will need to demonstrate that they are committed to race equality and its implementation and have the appropriate policies and procedures in place to ensure this.

Originality/value

This research is the first to evaluate the procurement practices of social landlords in Wales and how these practices may impact on race equality within the procurement process. The research also examined the steps being taken to promote equality by construction contractors and consultants operating within the social housing sector in Wales.

Details

Facilities, vol. 25 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article

Asifa Hussain and Mohammed Ishaq

More than six years have elapsed since the much‐heralded Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 (hereafter also referred to as the “Act”) came into force. The Act had been…

Abstract

Purpose

More than six years have elapsed since the much‐heralded Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 (hereafter also referred to as the “Act”) came into force. The Act had been prompted by concern at the lack of progress made in the sphere of racial equality despite the existence of the 1976 Race Relations Act. There were accusations that the 1976 Act was outdated and lacked the political teeth to be effective. The new Act imposed for the first time specific requirements on public sector institutions to be more proactive in promoting race equality. The duties would apply to public bodies that were previously exempt such as the Police and the National Health Service. This paper aims to focus on Scottish local councils and to examine the progress made by these public sector organisations in the field of race equality since the new Act came into force.

Design/methodology/approach

The researchers carried out a postal survey of Scotland's 32 local authorities in order to assess the progress made in the area of race equality. Questions focused on examining the scale of progress in relation to both employment and service delivery.

Findings

The results revealed a mixed picture. On the positive side, most councils had initiated race awareness training programmes. The majority had also incorporated aspects of race equality into their equal opportunities policies and most had instituted measures to engage with ethnic minority communities. However, there are still areas where performance is unsatisfactory, including inadequacies in the ethnic monitoring of staff, failure to reflect the size of the ethnic minority community in the workforce, and the absence of a clear and distinctive policy on racial harassment in the workplace.

Originality/value

This research will be of great value to anyone who is interested in assessing whether the legislative duties imposed by the Act have been satisfied by Scotland's local authorities. It is the first study of its kind in Scotland and is likely to appeal to both practitioners in the public sector and to academics.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Article

Margaret Page, Chrissie Oldfield and Birgit Urstad

Equality and diversity are generally positioned as special interests, marginal to the mainstream of social policy teaching and learning. The purpose of this paper is to…

Abstract

Purpose

Equality and diversity are generally positioned as special interests, marginal to the mainstream of social policy teaching and learning. The purpose of this paper is to make the case for shifting equality and diversity out of the margins and into the centre of education for mid career public managers, and offers practical methods for doing so.

Design/methodology/approach

The current EU policy framework requires public services to go beyond eliminating discrimination, and to promote equality. The paper suggests that while this offers great opportunities for advancing the cause of social justice, the cultures that predominate in public policy may lead to loss and failure. Academic research and experience demonstrate that these changes are highly complex, touching on issues that are integral to our sense of who we are, and how we relate to each other as educators and students, and as enforcers, beneficiaries and implementers of these policies. The paper touches on deeply held emotions, showing that more exploration of appropriate pedagogical methods is needed.

Findings

The paper finds that only by raising issues of equality and diversity to mainstream social policy teaching and learning is there likely to be a shift in thinking and commitment that will encourage integration of equality measures within management and leadership of public.

Originality/value

The paper offers three dimensions of pedagogy for enabling public service managers to engage with diversity and the equality agenda within educational contexts, and offers three illustrations of pedagogic processes that support this learning.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

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