How to Increase the Proportion of Women in Higher-Level Management Positions
How do we increase the proportion of women in higher-level management positions? One strategy organizations take involves implementing work-life practices. The theory is that giving women greater control over their work schedules and reducing the burden of family responsibilities will help women stay in the workforce and perform better, making them more likely to get promotions. In reality, do work-life practices actually help women reach higher levels of management? The researchers (Kalysh, Kulik & Perera, 2016) analyzed data over a twelve-year period from 675 organizations in Australia to find out.
Discrimination Can Block Pathways into Organizations
Discrimination in the workplace is unfortunately still a problem that needs a solution. There is inescapable evidence that many types of people experience discrimination at various decision points in a career. For example, selection, salary negotiation, and promotions, are all decision points that provide an opportunity for measurable discrimination to appear. New research (Milkman, Akinola, & Chugh, 2015) focuses instead on career “pathways,” or the process that leads up to obtaining a job. If someone has a clear pathway to a job, they may be more likely to be hired when the selection decision is made. However, a pathway can be blocked with obstacles (such as discrimination) that make it difficult for a person to succeed at a later decision point.
Getting Credit for Speaking Up: Sub-Conscious Bias and Employee Voice
Employee voice refers to the feedback provided by employees to improve organizational functioning. You might also think of it simply as “speaking up.” Not only is it critical for organizational improvement and success, but the extent to which employees speak up can affect the way they are evaluated by their managers. In a fair workplace, the employees who speak up the most would get the most credit. However, not all employees are recognized for their input equally.
Ethnic and Gender Discrimination When Reviewing Job Resumes
Job resumes are essential in making hiring decisions as they provide necessary information about applicants during the initial screening stages. However, resume screening is highly susceptible to psychological biases, and raters or screeners may rely on mental shortcuts that lead to inaccurate assessments, especially when relevant applicant information appears to be lacking. New research (Derous, Ryan & Serlie, 2015) explored how characteristics of the job and rater attitudes (ethnic prejudice, sexism) combine to influence the decisions of recruiters when limited information was provided in resumes.
Work-Family Conflict Changes How You Do Your Job
Work-family conflict occurs when we cannot meet the demands of work and the demands of family at the same time, and instead must choose one over the other. In this study, researchers (Dahm, Glomb, Manchester, & Leroy, 2015) specifically considered work-to-family conflict, which occurs when people attempt to meet the demands of their job and sacrifice the demands of their family. While past research has shown that this may lead to harmful outcomes, this study gives us greater insight into why this happens. Interestingly, work-to-family conflict can make employees change the way they do their jobs.
Obesity in the Workplace: Discrimination Against Employees and Customers in a Retail Setting
Obesity in the workplace continues to be a pressing issue because obesity rates continue to rise across the United States. This creates concerns for the two-thirds of the adult population that can be considered obese or overweight, as well as the organizations that employ them. In addition to the physical consequences of being overweight, heavy individuals may also be the victims of stigmatization and prejudice. Common stereotypes associated with heavy individuals purport that they are less hardworking, less conscientious, and less happy than non-heavy individuals are. Because weight is not a protected class under federal discrimination law, obese individuals may also feel that their weight affects their work experiences through both formal (i.e., overt) and informal (i.e., subtle) discrimination.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Pregnancy In the Workplace
Although women have been active participants in the workforce for decades, pregnancy in the workplace has remained a challenge. Stereotypes persist about the ability of women to be productive workers while pregnant, with possible negative ramifications for the careers of expecting mothers. In an effort to try to control her image as both employee and mother-to-be, a pregnant woman may engage in “identity management” strategies to help lessen the negative stereotypes associated with pregnancy.
Reducing Stereotyping: What You’re Doing May Not be Working
Stereotypes are quite common, but they are not always bad. Sometimes, we can stereotype someone in a positive way, and sometimes stereotypes are helpful because they reduce the amount of critical thinking a person has to do. The danger is when stereotypes are inaccurate or negative. This can lead to discriminatory behavior in the workplace. Organizations spend large sums of money every year on reducing stereotyping with training that aims to raise awareness and minimize their negative effects. A recent study by Duguid and Thomas-Hunt (2014) investigated whether creating greater awareness of stereotyping and encouraging resistance to them was the best way of curbing their harmful effects.
Breaking the Mold: How Challenging Gender Stereotypes Reduces Bias
As the result of a recent study, researchers in the United Kingdom have some intriguing news for women interested in organizational leadership roles. Their core message is, “Don’t conform to gender stereotypes!”
A Climate for Inclusion & Diversity: Evidence that Being Inclusive Pays Off
Question: What does being inclusive mean for organizations?
Answer: Less conflict, less turnover, and the ability to harness the benefits of workplace diversity.