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Equal Opportunities and Ethnic Inequality in European Labour Markets

Equal Opportunities and Ethnic Inequality in European Labour Markets: Discrimination, Gender and Policies of Diversity

Karen Kraal
Judith Roosblad
John Wrench
Series: IMISCOE Reports
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 124
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  • Book Info
    Equal Opportunities and Ethnic Inequality in European Labour Markets
    Book Description:

    The need to analyse labour market mechanisms in post-industrial Western societies is urgent. Despite laws and policy measures being developed at the European, national and local levels, job-seeking immigrants and ethnic minorities still suffer unequal access and ethnic discrimination. This volume endeavours to understand why. Four chapters dealing with discrimination, gender, equity policies and diversity management present a lively discussion of the current scientific debate. Besides providing empirical evidence, the authors recommend methods for conducting further research in the field and evaluate the actual effects of discrimination-combating policies. One conclusion is that systematic analysis of the labour market and its subsequent equity policies must be supported by hard data, such as statistics. With its state-of-the-art scope and unique thematic exploration, this volume transfers knowledge from social science studies to a more operational realm. From here, both scholars and practitioners can help make equal opportunities more accessible than ever. This title is available in the OAPEN Library -

    eISBN: 978-90-485-1045-0
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. Preface
    (pp. 7-8)
  4. 1 The ideal of equal opportunities and the practice of unequal chances
    (pp. 9-22)
    Karen Kraal, John Wrench, Judith Roosblad and Patrick Simon

    In November 2007, the IMISCOE Network of Excellence organised an international policy workshop entitled ‘Equal Opportunities in European Labour Markets’, in which researchers and representatives of trade unions, international companies and employers’ organisations came together to discuss opportunities on the labour market for immigrants and ethnic minorities.² In preparation for this international workshop, IMISCOE researchers prepared working papers with specific focus on: 1) discrimination; 2) gender; 3) equity policies; and 4) diversity management.³

    The organisers and participants concurred that there is a continuous need to analyse labour market mechanisms in post-industrial Western societies. This is because immigrants and ethnic minorities...

  5. 2 Ethnic inequality and discrimination in the labour market
    (pp. 23-46)
    Angela Nilsson and John Wrench

    Unequal opportunities in work life are perceived as serious problems, not only because they have an impact on the income and social status of those who are excluded or subordinated in the labour market, but also because they undermine the social political system, lead to the waste of human resources and to the underutilisation of skills, knowledge and manpower, and prevent access to the advantages that different types of knowledge can bring in a globalised economy (Fridholm 2006; EC 2005).

    As stated in Chapter 1, it is common wisdom that not everybody has equal possibilities in working life. Disparities in...

  6. 3 Migrant and minority women, inequalities and discrimination in the labour market
    (pp. 47-68)
    Eleonore Kofman, Judith Roosblad and Saskia Keuzenkamp

    While race and ethnicity are central dimensions of inequalities in the labour market, they also intersect with other dimensions of social inequality such as gender, age, disability and sexuality.

    Not only do migrant and ethnic minority workers have fewer opportunities in the labour market than their indigenous counterparts, but research has shown that the cumulative effects of gender and ethnic inequalities lead to a gender stratification in which native men have the best opportunities, and migrant and minority women have the most disadvantaged positions in many EU member states. Their employment is heavily concentrated in particular segments of the market...

  7. 4 Employment equity policies in work organisations
    (pp. 69-94)
    Stijn Verbeek and Rinus Penninx

    The preceding chapters have focused on the labour market situation of immigrants and ethnic minorities, as well as the mechanisms and various forms of discrimination that influence this labour market outcome, including the role of gender. In principle, two lines of reasoning have been used to analyse the relation between discrimination of immigrants or ethnic groups and inequality. The first starts from evidence of inequality at the group level and analyses to which extent that inequality can be attributed to discriminatory processes by checking for relevant factors that may account for differences between groups. The second outlines evidence of research...

  8. 5 Diversity management and the business case
    (pp. 95-118)
    Michael Fischer

    Managing for diversity is a management strategy that intends to make productive use of differences between individuals, ethnic and otherwise. It is based on the premise that – at least if they are well managed – diverse teams will produce better results and diverse companies will gain a market advantage. In contrast to other employment equity policies, diversity management is primarily driven by the ‘business case’, i.e. by the argument that diversity and/or its management will increase organisational efficiency and profitability. With diversity management as a business practice becoming more and more popular in Europe, the question arises as to...

  9. List of contributors
    (pp. 119-120)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 121-124)