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Women and minority individuals

Disparities at work persist for women and minority individuals -- this topic explores designing interventions to enable greater workplace equality and advancement.

Women and minority individuals

Janine Bosak
Anita Starzyk

Disparities in pay, career development and advancement opportunities persist for women and minority individuals despite significant efforts from governments and organizations to address workplace inequalities and discrimination based on gender and other marginalized minority characteristics (e.g., related to age, disability, ethnicity, social class).


Women and minority individuals frequently experience organizational cultures in which they feel undervalued at work and work jobs in which they experience a lack of fit between their attributes and those of the typical role occupant. These experiences of undervaluation and lack of fit often lead women and minority employees to re-evaluate their options and priorities, making them more inclined to ‘opt-out.’


It is important to note that these challenges and barriers can become even more pronounced when individuals belong to two or more minority categories (e.g., elderly woman, disabled Latinx person), which stresses the need for more research on the topic of intersectionality in the workplace and respective recommendations for organizations and policy-makers. 

Work and organisational psychology (WOP) as a discipline is critical in terms of deepening our understanding of the unique challenges and barriers (e.g., biases, glass cliffs, precarious work, hostile work environments and cultures) that women and minority individuals face.


For example:

  • which unique barriers do women and minority individuals encounter at work?

  • how are women and minority individuals hindered in pursuing leadership roles? 

  • what type of challenges and prospects will the Future of Work bring for women and minority individuals? 


Answering those questions allows us to inform the design of interventions for organizations, managers, and HR professionals to enable greater workplace equality and advancement. Furthermore, through the application of psychological theories and evidence-based insights, WOP can help identify support mechanisms (e.g., mentorship, sponsorship, role models) that help women and minorities to more successfully navigate the workplace and ascend into management roles.


Moreover, awareness and a better understanding of these mechanisms and broader cultural remedies can benefit organizations and policy-makers and prevent women and minorities from ‘opting out.’ Therefore, this stream aims to bring leading scholars, practitioners, and policy-makers on the topic of gender and minorities together.


Drawing on their collective and diverse expertise will allow us to provide evidence-based insights and recommendations to build bridges, not walls, and identify ways to enable more inclusive change in organizations and society. 

Women: Text
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