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Article
Publication date: 20 June 2016

Maria Socratous, Laura Galloway and Nicolina Kamenou-Aigbekaen

The purpose of this paper is to identify potential explanations on why motherhood affects the non-progression of women, in Cyprus, to the top of the organisational ladder.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify potential explanations on why motherhood affects the non-progression of women, in Cyprus, to the top of the organisational ladder.

Design/methodology/approach

For the purposes of the study a qualitative approach was taken and semi-structured interviews were used. The interviews were conducted with specific, preselected employment groups. These were chartered accountants from the Big Four (PWC, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG) companies in Cyprus and academics working at the University of Cyprus.

Findings

It has been identified through the interviews that women in Cyprus are faced with impediments on their way to the upper levels of the organisational ladder. The reasons for this vary and one of the most important is the motherhood effect. In particular, the research suggests that cultural norms and perceptions that women should be the primary caregiver are a barrier to advancement for women and there is a lack of family friendly policies and childcare facilities at least in the organisations included in this study.

Originality/value

This paper sheds light into a previously under-researched area; gender equality in Cyprus. The author also denotes the problems a mother is faced with on her way to the top of the organisational ladder and that culture is of utmost importance with regards to the role of women in the society and the workplace in Cyprus and elsewhere.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 35 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 April 2010

Anne Fearfull and Nicolina Kamenou

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the contexts in which this special issue developed, along with the wider context in which research such as that included is…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the contexts in which this special issue developed, along with the wider context in which research such as that included is conducted. It is believed that without the persistence of researchers in this field, the situation would be even worse.

Design/methodology/approach

Papers were selected from those submitted following a call for papers which went out after the Inaugural Equal Opportunities International Conference held at the University of East Anglia in July 2008. Two of the selected papers use qualitative, and two use quantitative, methodologies. The research was conducted in Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. Each seeks to develop theory based upon fresh empirical work.

Findings

Compelling evidence provides insight to ways in which majority and minority ethnic employees experience organizations differently, along with the resultant differential outcomes, including career paths, quality and opportunities.

Research limitations/implications

This paper maintains that each paper in this special issue (within its own context and as it currently stands) represents a robust example of qualitative or quantitative research in the field.

Practical implications

From the evidence of each paper published here, it is clear that academics and practitioners alike will gain insights to employer and employee behaviours at the level of the labour market and within the workplace itself. Such insights should encourage further action on the part of both. Employers should be prompted to review their polices and practices in the light of anti‐discriminatory legislation in such a way as to minimize discrimination therein.

Social implications

This paper draws attention to matters of persistent inequality which remain so even in enlightened times wherein quite extensive legislation is in place to outlaw such inequality. As such, the guest editors would like to see, as a result of both academics and practitioners reading the work within this, and all other, editions of the journal, concerted efforts, in the case of the former, to continue to conduct and disseminate high‐profile research in the area of discrimination and equal opportunity, and, in the latter, to address their policies and practices. In the latter context, the guest editors would like to see an impact on public and private employment policies and the seriousness with which corporate social responsibility is undertaken. In that respect, public attitudes might eventually be seen to be changing for the more equitable.

Originality/value

The paper brings together the findings of four different pieces of original research in such a way as to demonstrate the commitment of researchers to addressing inequality in today's workplaces, which themselves continue to be inequitable.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 June 2008

Nicolina Kamenou

The purpose of this paper is to review the Gender, Migration and Equality stream of the Industrial Relations in Europe 2007 (UREC) Conference, which took place in Athens, Greece.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the Gender, Migration and Equality stream of the Industrial Relations in Europe 2007 (UREC) Conference, which took place in Athens, Greece.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper summarizes a paper delivered at the first plenary session and also papers presented at the stream.

Findings

The paper finds that all papers within the stream highlighted the fact that discrimination and prejudice still exist throughout Europe and these are endemic and institutionalised. Some progress has been made in some areas and industries but for the situation to really alter, people in power should acknowledge their role in reproducing discrimination.

Originality/value

The research papers selected show that equality discussions and debates took a prominent position in the IREC Conference, which is beneficial in terms of pushing forward an equality agenda to the mainstream.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 May 2007

Anne Fearfull and Nicolina Kamenou

The paper aims to explore tensions around race, ethnicity, culture and religion and discusses the potential impact on the delivery of quality health care in the UK through…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to explore tensions around race, ethnicity, culture and religion and discusses the potential impact on the delivery of quality health care in the UK through the National Health Service (NHS).

Design/methodology/approach

This is a conceptual paper that examines how individual and collective resistance may compromise the provision of quality care and performance targets in the NHS with regard to equality and change. Existing literature and previous empirical work by the authors are utilised in order to discuss pertinent issues and propose further research in the area, suggesting appropriate methodologies and research designs.

Findings

The performance measurement agenda does not address issues of racism and discrimination faced by NHS staff and customers, effected by both colleagues and the public, which impact upon the delivery and receipt of care within the NHS. Performance measurement methods that do not take into account socio‐cultural conditions for those delivering and receiving care are futile. To make such measurement meaningful it is necessary for the NHS to acknowledge and challenge the racism inherent in its service delivery.

Research limitations/implications

Problems or limitations of conducting primary research in this field are discussed. Nevertheless, key issues around the need and type of further research in this under‐researched area are presented.

Practical implications

The paper challenges current performance management practices and suggests alternative ways forward.

Originality/value

The paper focuses on an under‐researched area and examines the performance measurement literature through “equality lenses” and investigates how racism and stereotyping can affect the delivery of quality care.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 April 2010

’Doyin Atewologun and Val Singh

The purpose of this paper is to explore how UK black professionals construct and negotiate ethnic/gender identities at work.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how UK black professionals construct and negotiate ethnic/gender identities at work.

Design/methodology/approach

Separate semi‐structured focus groups for three females and four males are used.

Findings

Ethnicity, gender and their intersection play important roles in identity construction of black UK professionals, who frequently encounter identity‐challenging situations as they interact with explicit and implicit models of race and stereotyping. Males use agentic strategies to further their careers, drawing strength from “black men” identities. Women are less agentic, reframing challenging episodes to protect/restore their identity.

Research limitations/implications

This study helps understanding of workplace experiences of UK black professionals beyond entry level. Several years after graduation, they still engage frequently in identity work, facing stereotyping and expectations based on intersecting gender and ethnic social categories. The paper shows how aspects of “black identity” provide a resource that supports career progress. Main limitation is small sample size.

Practical implications

People managing diverse professionals and HRM specialists need to recognize how much identity work (e.g. frequently countering stereotyping) has to be done by black professionals in cultures that do not value diversity. As they gain access to senior positions, this will be increasingly an issue for talent retention.

Originality/value

This paper provides some rich understanding about identity construction of black male professionals, an under researched group. This paper extends the work on ethnic minority females, comparing them with male peers. It is shown that minority groups are not homogeneous, but may undergo different workplace experiences and adopt different strategies, drawing on various aspects of the generic “black identity”. This has implications for how organizational diversity is understood, managed and researched.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 April 2010

Etlyn J. Kenny and Rob B. Briner

The purpose of this paper is to explore how ethnicity remains relevant to the workplace experience of minority ethnic graduate employees in contemporary British organizations.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how ethnicity remains relevant to the workplace experience of minority ethnic graduate employees in contemporary British organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative interviews were conducted with 30 British Black Caribbean graduate employees drawn from a range of public and private‐sector organizations to examine the ways in which they felt their ethnicity impacted on how they experienced their places of work. Template analysis was used to analyse the data.

Findings

The paper finds that racial discrimination, social class and ethnic identity were key elements of the way in which ethnicity was experienced by these minority ethnic graduate employees. The paper discusses the differing ways racial discrimination is experienced and conceptualized in contemporary British organizations; and highlights the ways in which social class may play a role in how a group of (largely) working class minority ethnic graduates progress their careers in (largely) middle class organizational environments. Presented for the first time is a theory on the key facets of the ways ethnic identity might be experienced at work.

Research limitations/implications

Further research would be required to see if the findings are replicated with graduates from other minority ethnic groups.

Practical implications

The paper provides insights into ways in which majority and minority ethnic employees may experience organizations differently.

Originality/value

This paper provides some new insights into the role of ethnicity at work. It also attempts to address some of the issues with organizational psychological research on ethnicity at work identified by Kenny and Briner.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 April 2006

Nicolina Kamenou

957

Abstract

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

Article
Publication date: 30 April 2010

Steven Lenaers

Several Flemish social scientists argue for the existence of a dual Flemish labour market as a result of ethnic stratification. Flanders is the Northern, Dutch speaking…

Abstract

Purpose

Several Flemish social scientists argue for the existence of a dual Flemish labour market as a result of ethnic stratification. Flanders is the Northern, Dutch speaking region of Belgium, which inhabits around six million people. The poor educational level of ethnic minority youngsters is generally considered to be one of the main explaining factors. The purpose of this paper is to find out whether ethnic minority graduates, who have successfully completed their higher education, also face ethnic stratification in the labour market, even though the educational argument does not apply. Therefore, the paper examines differences in labour market positions of the third (Italian) and the second (Turkish and Moroccan) generation immigrants, and a matching Flemish ethnic majority control group.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is essentially of a quantitative nature. A postal survey was used to ask recently graduated ethnic minority and majority students from two schools of higher education and one university in Flanders about their career on the labour market after graduation. Universities provide education leading to master diplomas whereas schools of higher education train professional bachelors.

Findings

The waiting period between leaving school and entering the labour market is longer for ethnic majority graduates than for ethnic minority graduates. However, once on the labour market the differences in labour market position tend to disappear. Differences in first job wage, contract modalities, labour regime or the executive character of the job were small and non‐significant. Yet 61 per cent of the graduates of Turkish and Moroccan origin feel they have to try harder both in gaining access to the labour market and once in employment.

Research limitations/implications

Further studies will need to confirm these findings, perhaps even with ethnic minorities of other educational levels, in other locations.

Practical implications

The results suggest that closer attention should be paid to the psychological dimension of the school‐to‐work transition of ethnic minority graduates as their psychological contract is under pressure. As they feel their efforts are not sufficiently rewarded – since they feel they have to try harder than others and are rewarded the same – chances are they will reduce their efforts.

Originality/value

The paper focuses on the under‐researched area of ethnic stratification among higher educated graduates. Moreover, it is not limited to factual labour market positions. The inclusion of subjective variables such as opportunity perception and self‐confidence allows additional insight in existing differences and similarities.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 April 2012

Jane Holgate, Sue Abbott, Nicolina Kamenou, Josie Kinge, Jane Parker, Susan Sayce, Jacqueline Sinclair and Laura Williams

The pursuit of equality and valuing of diversity are central tenets of much organisational thinking and public policy development. However, in this current age of…

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Abstract

Purpose

The pursuit of equality and valuing of diversity are central tenets of much organisational thinking and public policy development. However, in this current age of austerity we are witnessing a number of existing and proposed “fairness initiatives” feeling the sharp blade of a cost‐cutting axe. This paper is a reflexive response that aims to examine a piece of action research in the field of industrial relations. It aims to take the professional UK association, the British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA), as a case study and consider how issues of equality and diversity have been viewed by the organisation both in theory and practice. Using a framework which acknowledges the need for multiple levels of analysis (macro, meso and micro) and which argues for an intersectional approach, the paper seeks to detail the measures adopted by BUIRA so as to augment its organisational responsiveness to various equality and diversity concerns. It also provides an insight into how the authors, as equality and diversity academics, reflected on the process of creating policy through their own research activities. A further aim of the paper is to highlight the scope and character of equality and diversity initiatives undertaken by BUIRA, and to discuss some of their implications for its membership – both now and in the future.

Design/methodology/approach

What began as a simple policy piece of research developed into a multi‐method, quantitative and qualitative, action‐based project. It also became a reflexive study of how and by what methods research is conducted. A quantitative and qualitative survey of BUIRA members was followed with interviews with past‐presidents of the organisation. Historical data in the form of a comprehensive 2010 retrospective on BUIRA were also consulted.

Findings

The authors' empirical material was analysed with reference to a theoretical framework that acknowledges the importance of intersectionality at all levels of analysis. The study's findings are discussed in relation to macro, meso and micro influences and reference is made to how these three levels intersect in examining views and perceptions in relation to equality and diversity within BUIRA. The main findings are that while BUIRA as an association has acted to combat perceptions that it is dominated by older White men who prioritise traditional elements of industrial relations (IR), this view still persists for some of the membership. The membership survey indicated that it was female, younger or less established academics in particular who held this view, suggesting that in challenging inequalities within the IR academic community BUIRA may still have a way to go.

Practical implications

A key implication is that representative organisations such as professional associations need to consider equality and diversity aspects that reflect the membership they serve. This has been acknowledged as fundamental in both workplaces and trade unions and now requires similar commitment from professional associations. Of course, the scope and character of initiatives are also context‐sensitive, as reflected by non‐linear progress in equality initiatives undertaken by these and other organisations.

Originality/value

The research offers an analysis of equality and diversity within a professional association which is an under researched area.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 April 2010

Renate Ortlieb and Barbara Sieben

The purpose of this paper is to examine the representation of migrant employees in German organizations and to demonstrate that their employment opportunities are outcomes…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the representation of migrant employees in German organizations and to demonstrate that their employment opportunities are outcomes of diversity strategies – i.e. patterns of personnel practices and the reasons that cause them or are alleged to do so.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on a typology of diversity strategies where elements of strategy and diversity research are combined with resource dependence theory. Propositions on the strategies’ relation to personnel structures and practices are examined through empirical data stemming from telephone interviews conducted with HR managers of 500 German companies.

Findings

Empirical analyses revealed that diversity strategies are tightly related to personnel structures and practices. The best employment opportunities and career prospects for skilled migrants are offered by companies pursuing a diversity strategy labelled learning. In addition, the findings demonstrate the robustness of this typology.

Research limitations/implications

The empirical data suffer from common method bias: information was gathered on the pursued strategy, the personnel structure and practices of each company by interviewing one single person. Moreover, to dig more deeply into the relation with career prospects, a supplementary qualitative approach would be fruitful.

Practical implications

The results highlight conditions which are beneficial for advocating the integration of migrant employees. Equally, they may incentivise organizational decision makers with the “good reasons” to employ migrants.

Originality/value

By this paper's typology of diversity strategies, an innovative approach is contributed to the theoretical foundation of diversity research as their relation to personnel structures and practices is empirically analysed for the first time.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

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