International Handbook on Diversity Management at Work

International Handbook on Diversity Management at Work

Country Perspectives on Diversity and Equal Treatment

Elgar original reference

Edited by Alain Klarsfeld

Managing and developing diversity is on the political and business agenda in many countries; therefore diversity management has become an area of knowledge and practice in its own right. Yet all too often it is referred to as a unifying concept, as if it were to be interpreted uniformly across all cultures and countries. The contributors to this volume expertly examine the relationship between diversity management and equality legislation within the different participating countries’ national contexts. They advocate that such separation and sequencing between equality at work and diversity management is far from natural.

Chapter 1: Managing Gender Diversity in Pakistan and Turkey: A Historical Review

Mustafa Özbilgin, Jawad Syed and Beliz Dereli

Subjects: business and management, diversity and management, human resource management, organisational behaviour


Mustafa Özbilgin, Jawad Syed and Beliz Dereli Introduction Studies of gender in Muslim majority countries (MMCs) have traditionally focused on gender issues in the Middle East and the Arab world (e.g. Afkhami, 1995; Mernissi, 1987; Moghadam, 1997). This chapter is a departure from that tradition, and is focused on two non-Arab countries, Pakistan and Turkey. In this sense, the chapter accounts for the diversity of Islam and various gender norms and practices within MMCs. Previous research suggests that the compatibility of organizational values with the wider societal values is essential to the long-term success of organizations (Harzing and Sorge, 2003; Hofstede, 1984; Schuler and Rogovsky, 1998). The focus of this chapter is upon managing gender diversity in Pakistan and Turkey. While other dimensions of diversity (e.g. cultural diversity, disability) are important, most of the literature in the two countries focuses on gender. Other areas are less developed and theoretically silent. They deserve in-depth future attention in their own right. We, however, argue that gender can serve as a cross-cutting lens through which other dimensions can be included in the diversity debate, as the managerial tools for leveraging gender diversity are more developed than tools for other strands of difference. Indeed, gender diversity is not a settled and resolved issue. Therefore the chapter does not choose to ignore other strands but focuses on one in order to highlight the ongoing relevance of gender issues in the context of employment in both countries. Organizational–societal cultural congruence is not only important to...

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