Diversity is increasingly recognized as important in the workplace, be it for performance, legitimacy, or social justice reasons, and schools as workplaces are no exception. Three recent trends in education point to the importance of a racially diverse teacher workforce for better student outcomes, especially for racial minority students.
First, studies in education continually show gains in gifted placement, attendance, and achievement for racial minority students assigned to a racial minority teacher. Second, such “racial matching” is not available to many racial minority students because of racial segregation in schools. While more than 50% of US public school children are nonwhite, only 20% of public school teachers in the US are nonwhite. Third, nonwhite teachers have higher levels of turnover than white teachers.
We need a deeper understanding of not only how schools recruit teachers of color, but also how organizational conditions in schools can better retain teachers of color. These insights can be applied to similar organizational settings where diversity management is consequential for client/customer experiences and outcomes (e.g., hospitals, retail), or to any workplace concerned with racial equity in employees’ access to workplace resources post-hire.
Many people today, spend some of their spare time doing volunteer work in the belief that it will be looked upon favorably by employers and lead to better-paying jobs.
A recent analysis of longitudinal data from the United Kingdom published in Social Science Research confirms that they are correct, but only for those with jobs in the “salariat” – professionals, managers, administrators and the like – while working class volunteers pay a penalty for their altruism.
This topic is of considerable interest today because recent developments in the economies of advanced industrial societies have changed the social contract between employers and employees. As employment has become more precarious, workers find they can no longer rely on a system where opportunities are defined internally by tenure or rank; instead, they must market themselves. Under constant pressure to prepare for the next job, they are advised to network assiduously, learn new skills by returning to school, and even take classes on writing persuasive job applications and performing well in interviews. In some cases they are advised to take unpaid or marginally paid positions such as internships or to perform volunteer work.
Every school year, a
new cohort of parents faces the challenge of finding the right school for their
child – each year with a disheartening result: ethnic minority children tend to
end up at schools of lower prestige and quality. Intriguingly, this ethnic
stratification across schools affects not only their further school careers,
but it profoundly shapes minority students’ identities and their social
relationships with their classmates.
the uneven distribution of majority and minority children across schools of
different prestige, is widespread: in various countries, at various school
transitions, and in various school systems. A substantial share of the ethnic
and racial inequalities we observe in modern societies originates from ethnic
stratification in the school system.
But schools provide more than grades and certificates. It is here where youth form lasting friendships, where they develop their views, attitudes, and identities. Does unequal school sorting not only create unequal life chances but also produce stronger ethnic boundaries in the minds and relations of youth?
six month period before she lost her job had been painful for Doris Richards
(all names are pseudonyms). A lawyer who worked at a family-run firm, Doris was
convinced that the owners were trying to elbow her out of their firm by making
her working life miserable. When they finally did, Doris felt a sense of
relief. She says, “One of the things I felt was, ‘Oh good, I can go to [events
my kids are involved in]…I have more time now. I don’t feel pulled. I don’t
feel as though I’m being tortured at work anymore. And I felt I could give more
to my kids.”
may seem like an unusual response to unemployment, especially given that Doris
earned considerably more than her husband who is in the public sector.
In my recent article, I show how unemployment – whether they were fired, made redundant, or laid off – was a different experience for college-educated, professional, married heterosexual mothers than what prior theories of unemployment, often drawing largely from men’s experiences, would indicate.
At the beginning of
October, Melinda Gates announced she would commit $1 billion in the fight for
gender equality in the United States, and that one of her key priorities is to “mobilize
shareholders” to put pressure on companies to improve diversity practices.
But do shareholders
really value gender diversity? Research on the relationship between firm value
and the appointment of women CEOs or directors has yielded mixed findings. At best, efforts to increase female
representation have no impact on the firm’s market performance.
In some cases, however,
shareholders will actually penalize
firms for appointing
women to senior leadership positions.
counter-intuitive, given how much attention there has been in the press on
stakeholders insisting that companies diversify their boards. Surely
shareholders should be rewarding the companies that meet the challenge, not
When we think about the power of business in our society, we
tend to think about corporations. With rising income inequality in America and
with record breaking levels of campaign contributions in each election cycle,
it’s no surprise that
large majorities of Americans feel corporations have
too much power.
Strange as it may sound, corporate power is less
concentrated in America than in the past: the number of corporations has
actually fallen in the United States since the 1980s and they are no longer as
large and integrated as they were in the Mad
Men era (think of General Motors in its heyday).
In a recent paper, we highlight how the business elite are increasingly tied to non-corporate organizations like limited liability companies (LLCs) and limited partnerships (LPs). We find that families in the top 1% of the income distribution – especially white families and men in this elite stratum – disproportionately benefit from these organizations.
In many – if not most – communities across the United States, large health systems have increasingly become centers of job growth and economic development. Many cities and towns have watched manufacturers leave their communities, often taking with them “good jobs” that used to be available to their working-class residents.
Health systems have now replaced manufacturers as leading employers in town, but what kinds of jobs does the health sector provide for the working-class? We know that the health sector provides high quality jobs for workers with advanced degrees, such as physicians, pharmacists, and administrators. But does the health care sector provide “good jobs” for men and women without a college degree?
Flexible work arrangements, which enable people to voluntarily change when and where they work, are stigmatized in American workplaces due to a belief that flexible work patterns reflect an insufficient commitment to work. Yet, I find that the use of these arrangements is associated with heightened, not diminished, levels of work devotion among working mothers.
This finding contradicts the commonly held
view that to effectively manage job and family responsibilities, one must make sacrifices
between ambitions at work and at home. As “trade-offs,” strategies are portrayed
within the context of a zero-sum relationship between work and family—a view which
upholds the “sperate spheres
ideology” that has long legitimized traditional breadwinning men and
homemaking women arrangements.
recently published article, I suggest that work-family strategies exist as
a “buffet” of options, characterized not just by the institution (work or
family) that is adjusted when adopted but also by their associated moral
weight. Said differently, strategies are embedded within symbolic landscapes
that render certain options more accessible, appropriate or desirable than
organizations are often seen as the engines of inequality: they sort people
into jobs with different opportunities, they pay people differently, and they
reserve power for a select few. But we
know far less about how organizations foster equality in the workplace by
allowing occupational mobility, reducing wage disparities, and distributing
power among many.
a recent article, I examine one workplace that
adopted such equality-producing practices. Over nearly a decade, I conducted research
on worker-recuperated businesses
in Argentina, which are companies that have converted from privately-owned
enterprises into worker-controlled cooperatives.
are nearly 400 worker-recuperated
operating in Argentina. And most of these are organized as worker cooperatives
that are owned and operated by their members.
Contemporary professionals face increased precarity in all aspects of their work. They have less control over their schedules, less autonomy from clients and organizations, and weaker professional identities than in the past. Sociologists refer to these broad changes as deprofessionalization.
Deprofessionalization is particularly pronounced in the field of journalism. In recent decades, corporate consolidation, the internet, and the rise of powerful technology platform companies have profoundly altered the journalism landscape and the journalism labor market.