1st Edition

Gower Handbook of Discrimination at Work

By Hazel Conley, Tessa Wright Copyright 2011

    Workplace discrimination is an experience that, despite four decades of equality legislation, continues to blight the lives of thousands every year. Discrimination persists on the protected grounds of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief and gender reassignment, as well as where no legal protection exists such as in relation to class background or migration status. The Handbook discusses recent changes in equality legislation as well as considering the limitations of legal frameworks in addressing inequality. However, complying with the law is only the first step towards addressing discrimination in the workplace, and the book goes beyond the law and provides evidence of good practice in promoting organisational culture change, as well as considering future directions for policy on equality action. The Gower Handbook of Discrimination at Work looks at both social justice and business case perspectives, and its message is not a negative one. The contributors have considerable depth of understanding of workplace discrimination, both as academics and equality practitioners, their work has contributed to policy formation and all are committed to improving the lives of people at work. They offer insights into existing international developments and make suggestions for the ways in which positive change can be realised. Practitioners, such as human resources professionals and other managers involved in addressing equality at work, trade unionists, equality trainers, and academics concerned with researching or teaching in the areas of employment and equality will all find this book of interest. Furthermore, it will be of value to students in the fields of business and management, employment law, equality and diversity and human resource management.

    List of Figures, List of Tables, About the Editors, Notes on Contributors, Acknowledgements, List of Abbreviations, Introduction, PART I Legal Framework and the Limits of the Law, PART II Discrimination(s) in the Workplace: Gender and Sexuality, PART III Equality – New Approaches, Index


    Tessa Wright has written and researched in the areas of discrimination and equality at work for many years. During her 12 years as an equality researcher and editor at the Labour Research Department, she wrote and researched widely on the discrimination faced by women, ethnic minorities, disabled workers and lesbians and gay men in workplace, as well as trade union responses. Since moving to the Working Lives Research Institute at London Metropolitan University, Tessa has continued to develop her interest in effective measures to combat discrimination at work, working on a range of European and UK research projects. She is completing a PhD at the Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity, Queen Mary, University of London on the experiences of women working in non-traditionally female occupations, examining the intersections of gender, sexuality and class. Hazel Conley started her working life as a bank clerk, where she quickly noted gendered and racialised workplace segregation along with the subtle and not so subtle discrimination that followed. In 1989 Hazel decided to enter higher education. It was here that she began to understand the theories and concepts that sought to explain discrimination at work. She has researched and published extensively, particularly on the ways in which labour market segmentation, especially in relation to non-standard forms of work, can result in discrimination and disadvantage. Her recent work focuses on the discrimination and equality legislation, examining its strengths and limitations as a tool for fighting discrimination.

    'Tessa Wright and Hazel Conley have succeeded in bringing together a collection of interesting, insightful and innovative contributions to the debate surrounding the regulation, form and effects of discrimination in workplaces. It provides researchers and policy makers with a valuable source of up-to-date information and critical commentary, while acting as an indispensable reference for students taking specialist modules on equality and diversity. The strength of the collection lies in its successful combination of reflective, theory-based chapters, empirically-driven analyses and policy-oriented commentaries. The discussions are all set against the backdrop of UK and European legislation which helps to contextualise the analyses and provides plenty of opportunity for the authors to engage in critical discussion. The debates and issues explored are essential reading for those interested in contemporary developments in equality and diversity, while the issues raised set down some key challenges for policy makers if they are serious about developing anti-discrimination interventions.' Mike Noon, Professor of Human Resource Management, Queen Mary University of London '...This Handbook of Discrimination at Work is well-written, clearly arguing, so it is not only helpful within academia, that is, for lecturing on the issue or in the hand of students...but also for the practitioner in different fields and organizations...' Gyoergy Szell, University of Osnabrueck for VISION journal