Research Findings

Migrant Doctors and Reducing Pay Gaps

, and
June 30, 2022

The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is the publicly funded health care provider in the country. It is the largest non-military employer in the world. Similar to US medical services, it is heavily dependent on migrant doctors to deliver essential medical services. Many accounts, though, find evidence for inequality in their careers and pay.

Twenty six percent of UK doctors have obtained their primary medical qualification overseas, migrating from the European Economic Area (EEA) or further afield (international medical graduate or IMG). Research on the experience of women doctors and on migrant doctors can be located, but with a notable exception. It is less common to see gender and place of qualification considered together. So, we wanted to know – do NHS migrant doctors experience pay gaps compared with their UK-trained counterparts? Are they worse for women? And if so, how can they be narrowed?

Continue Reading…
Research Findings

Stalled gender revolution in the division of labor at home and at work

and
June 23, 2022

How far are we from achieving gender equality in the division of labor at home and at work? Across the world, women spend more time on unpaid domestic work, and men do more labor market work. This gender division of labor is the cause and the consequence of many other forms of gender inequalities, such as the gender pay gap and the tendency for men and women to work in different jobs.

Yet gender relations are changing. Nowadays in most industrialised societies more women than men go to the university. More women have jobs than before, even after they have become mothers. Have we witnessed a gender revolution in the division of labor accordingly? In other words, are men doing more housework, and are women doing more labor market work?

Continue Reading…
New book

Silicon Valley’s Caste System: Geek Capital, Glass Walls, and Barriers to Employment


June 16, 2022

In January 21 of 2016, Bloomberg Businessweek published a cover story titled “Why Doesn’t Silicon Valley Hire Black Coders”. Vauhini Vara followed a cohort of Black computer science students enrolled at Howard University located in Washington, D.C., one of the oldest historically Black universities in the United States. Even after a Google engineer upgrades the curriculum, students in this cohort are denied opportunities to work full time in Silicon Valley. Vara informs the reader that “although 20 percent of all black computer science graduates attend a historically black school … the Valley wasn’t looking for those candidates”.

In this same year, Reveal’s Center for Investigative Reporting analyzed the diversity reports of Silicon Valley technology firms. It found that Black employees made up no more than 2 percent of the 23 companies, who had released their figures. Eight of the twenty-three companies that provided their demographics including Google, Twitter, Square and 23andMe, did not report a single Black woman in an executive role. In a separate study conducted by The Ascend Foundation, a pan-Asian foundation, found that the number of Black and Latinx women had actually declined between 2014 and 2017.

Continue Reading…
Research Findings

Mobilizing worker rights

and
June 9, 2022

Organizing is hard. It is hard to organize workers to improve their working conditions and seek redress for workplace abuse. And it is especially hard to organize low-wage workers who inhabit the deregulated, fissured workplaces of the post-Fordist labor market.

The challenges of organizing low-wage workers are as much structural and institutional as they are tactical. Formal legal protections are only as good as the ability of workers to engage in individual and collective claims-making to pull the “fire alarm” of a wage theft claim, prompt an Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA) investigation, or initiate a sexual harassment complaint, for example. Worker advocates have stepped in to help bridge that gap. Their work is more critical now than ever as union membership has plummeted and is nearly nonexistent in many of the jobs and industries that many vulnerable workers occupy.

To this end, worker centers and other alt-labor groups have developed creative mobilization strategies to support worker claims and build worker power in the low-wage labor market. Since 2008, we have engaged in research with low-wage workers who participated in the individual and collective claims making processes of two worker centers, one in Chicago and the other in the San Francisco Bay area, both serving low-wage, mainly immigrant worker constituency.

Continue Reading…
Research Findings

Stories of the future: Spanish graduates’ expectations amid pervasive employment precarity


June 2, 2022

As Julia, a 28-year-old college graduate in Madrid, Spain, described she and her friends’ persistent experiences with unemployment and precarious, low-paying employment, she burst into tears:   

“We’re doing badly in absolutely everything…It’s a limbo, what I call the professional limbo, in which the logical progression, which is you study, you go to high school, college, you have a job, has changed completely.”

Nonetheless, when Julia imagined her life in five years, she described herself in a stable professional trajectory—in a job she disliked as a private school teacher, but one she would be in permanently:

Continue Reading…
Research Findings

The importance of human capital in the era of automation

and
May 26, 2022

The debate about the impact of automation on the labour market has been ongoing for several years, as new technologies are taking over jobs currently performed by workers. Our study discusses how workers are responding to the growing automation of production processes, and why human capital adjustments are crucial for the workforce to remain competitive in the labour market also in future.

Industrial robots

Industrial robots are among the leading automation technologies of the last decades. The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) defines them as “automatically controlled, reprogrammable, multipurpose manipulators, programmable in three or more axes”, and estimates that the global stock of robots has increased from 500 thousand to almost three million units between the early 1990s and the late 2010s.

Continue Reading…
Research Findings

Laundering Control Through Customers: Customer Abuse in the Gig Economy


May 19, 2022

An Uber driver once told me he keeps a gun under his seat because “Uber doesn’t have my back”. Another was told by a customer that he should “go back to his own country”. Yet another was punched in the back of his head while driving.

Anyone who has ever worked a customer service job knows that customer abuse against workers is rampant; one study found that, on average, call center workers interact with abusive customers more than ten times a day. The gig economy is no exception.

Yet if platform workers are “their own boss”, why are they subjected to constant customer abuse? And why does this issue seem to be getting worse over time?

Continue Reading…
Research Findings

Gender, race, class, and family care disparities shape the landscape of remote work during COVID-19

and
May 12, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic sent large numbers of workers whose jobs permitted it into working from home. At the peak more than 60% of U.S. workers worked remotely. Working from home blurs the boundaries between work and personal lives. We find, surprisingly, that remote work brought with it both more and fewer hours, but this varied depending on family care responsibilities as well as gender, race, and class.

Work hours are important because working time is a fundamental aspect of working conditions associated with pay and status, family and personal lives, as well as health and well-being. Given the currently “frighteningly high levels” of burnout among U.S. workers, it becomes all the more important to understand how working from home affects hours worked.

In a recently published study, we investigate how work hours changed as women and men moved to remote working conditions, and how remote workers themselves account for increases, decreases, or stability in their work hours. We find different experiences for women and men, as well as at the intersections of gender with caregiving obligations, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.

Continue Reading…
Commentary

When it comes to addressing gender inequality in STEM fields, the leaky pipeline problem starts with the metaphor

and
May 5, 2022

By many accounts, women self-select out of STEM programs at various points across the career trajectory because they feel they do not belong, or because they feel less confident in their ability to thrive in a STEM career. When speaking of issues related to gender inequality in STEM, the predominant metaphor used is that of a “leaky pipeline.”

Last year, we completed a report for a scientific governing body on ways they can make their funding services to university faculty more equitable. We interviewed women who opted out of academic careers because the culture in their labs was inhospitable. And we documented stories of interviewees’ colleagues who experienced harassment and likewise opted out of academia.

Taken together, we were provided evidence of a leaky pipeline, and we had conversations with interview participants about what might ultimately be its cause. These conversations were unsettling and unsatisfactory because we kept butting against the issue of recruitment, hiring, and retention. But the real problem with the leaky pipeline explanation of gender inequality is the metaphor itself.

Continue Reading…
Research Findings

More Dads are Home Taking Care of Children than Ever Before – Are Views About Gender and Work Changing?

and
April 28, 2022

In 2021, the number of stay-at-home dads in the United States reached record highs. Does this mean that cultural views about gender, masculinity, work, and family—particularly the idea that men should be breadwinners—are changing? Not necessarily.

Our recent research in Gender & Society assesses cultural views of stay-at-home fathers over three decades, by examining their portrayal in leading newspapers and magazines between 1987 and 2016. We found that news portrayals of stay-at-home dads have indeed become more positive over time. But the growing support for full-time caregiver fathers is conditional.

Dads who lost their jobs because of involuntary unemployment are viewed sympathetically, especially since the Great Recession. But dads who are able to work, but choose to stay home with children instead, are still described negatively. As much as we’d like to think that the gender-bending phenomenon of (slightly) increasing numbers of dads at home is a harbinger of more fundamental gender liberalization, our results suggest that this is not unambiguously the case.

Continue Reading…