Academic Literature

Women and racial minorities – Why do inequalities persist?

While women and racial minorities have increasingly crossed the threshold into professional service organizations, the path to the top remains elusive. Why do inequalities persist? McGinn and Milkman study processes of cohesion, competition, and comparison by looking at career mobility in a single up-or-out professional service organization. Findings show that higher proportions of same-sex and same-race superiors enhanced the career mobility of junior professionals. On the flip side, however, higher proportions of same-sex or same-race peers increased the likelihood of women’s and men’s exit and generally decreased their chances of promotion. This research highlights how important it is to look at both cooperative and competitive effects of demographic similarity when trying to address the problem of persistent underrepresentation of women and minorities at the highest levels in organizations. Key concepts include:

  • Social comparisons lead to measurable effects on individuals’ careers, in turn shaping the demographic composition at the top of professional service organizations.
  • Organizations should attend to the ways in which policies and practices invoke competition and comparison within demographic categories.
  • Clustering same-race or same-sex junior employees to provide an increased sense of community may have the opposite effect of that desired, unless accompanied by senior professionals’ active sponsorship of juniors across demographic lines.
  • Attempts to design employment practices that are blind to the demographics of candidates are likely to succeed only if all candidates perceive and receive equal mentoring, sponsorship, and peer support regardless of their race and gender.
  • Among peers, the potentially positive role for social cohesion could be compromised by minimal interaction in day-to-day work, while limited opportunities for choice assignments and promotion lend a distinctly competitive edge to the work environment. Junior professionals perceive that they are easily replaced by peers.

via Looking Up and Looking Out: Career Mobility Effects of Demographic Similarity among Professionals — HBS Working Knowledge.

Discussion

8 thoughts on “Women and racial minorities – Why do inequalities persist?

  1. i’m seeing the site only now and really loved it! i love your post is so cool!

    Posted by Daisi | July 13, 2012, 10:52 am
  2. thanks for sharing.

    Posted by Cláudia | July 13, 2012, 12:46 pm
  3. i have to thank you to benefit me with such a good text.

    Posted by Elmides | July 16, 2012, 7:43 am

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: U.S. Job Recovery – Faster for Men than Women « Job Market Monitor - July 16, 2012

  2. Pingback: America’s Silent Crisis – Single Working Mother « Job Market Monitor - July 18, 2012

  3. Pingback: Saudi women – More job opportunities « Job Market Monitor - July 21, 2012

  4. Pingback: Gender Gap – Entrenched through candidates long-term expectations and assumptions « Job Market Monitor - August 15, 2012

  5. Pingback: The Top 1% / 39% Of The World’s Wealth | Job Market Monitor - June 1, 2013

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Jobs – Offres d’emploi – US & Canada (Eng. & Fr.)

The Most Popular Job Search Tools

Even More Objectives Statements to customize

Cover Letters – Tools, Tips and Free Cover Letter Templates for Microsoft Office

Follow Job Market Monitor on WordPress.com

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow Job Market Monitor via Twitter

Categories

Archives

%d bloggers like this: