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  • Series: New Horizons in Management series x
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Dennis Nickson

With attractiveness now a major advantage in society generally, as well as specifically within the workplace, this chapter considers a number of issues raised by the importance of one’s appearance. Drawing on the concept of aesthetic labour the chapter highlights how hiring on the basis of looks is now a well-established strategy in a range of occupations and organizations, especially those in the service sector. The chapter considers the legal and ethical implications of employers often hiring on the basis of appearance, including attempts in some jurisdictions to prohibit appearance discrimination. The chapter concludes by outlining recommendations which, whilst outlining the need for a certain degree of pragmatism on the part of potential employees, equally recognizes the need to work against societal standards of what denotes ‘good looking’, ‘attractive’ or ‘sexy’.

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Patricia V. Roehling, Mark V. Roehling and Austin Elluru

This chapter explores the impact of size, especially obesity, on career and how employers and legislators can mitigate discrimination against people of extreme size. There is ample evidence of widely held biases and negative stereotypes toward the obese. These biases appear to lead to discrimination against large-sized people in all phases of employment including hiring, discipline, promotion and compensation. The penalty associated with being overweight varies by gender. Women are penalized when they move from the slender range into the normal and overweight range: the larger the size, the greater the evidence of discrimination. Among men, the weight penalty is associated with being either underweight or obese, with little evidence of discrimination against normal and overweight men. Men also appear to pay a smaller penalty for being overweight than do women. Employers can mitigate weight and height discrimination through human resources best practices, such as using structured interviews. Governments can mitigate discrimination by extending legal protections to obese employees.

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Joy Van Eck Peluchette and Katherine Karl

Using Goffman’s dramaturgical perspective, this chapter discusses how women utilize dress to present themselves in the workplace and how their dress impacts upon self-perceptions, others’ perceptions and, ultimately, their ability to effectively execute their organizational roles. In determining appropriate workplace attire, women are often caught in a double bind in that they may wish to dress with a certain level of femininity in order to be consistent with gender norm expectations, but at the same time, to dress masculine enough to appear credible. This chapter outlines research on the effects of feminine or provocative dress on perceptions and outcomes for women in the workplace. Since dress is defined as including both body adornments and modifications, the authors discuss what is known from research on aspects of clothing and accessories, as well as cosmetics, fragrance and hair color. They conclude the chapter with a discussion of unaddressed issues in workplace dress research.

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Stefanie K. Johnson, Ksenia Keplinger, Jessica F. Kirk and Elsa T. Chan

Attractiveness is generally perceived to be beneficial to women in the workplace. However, a rapidly growing body of literature suggests that there are hidden costs of attractiveness that can negatively influence career trajectories of professional women. In this chapter, the authors employ Super’s (1957) model of career development as a framework and analyze linkages between specific developmental aspirations of women, their concerns in different career stages, and the downsides of attractiveness. In particular, they focus on the ‘beauty is beastly’ effect, female intrasexual competition, objectification of attractive women, sexual harassment in the workplace, and self-objectification. Finally, they discuss why women might engage in sexual behavior at work and what consequences it might have on their careers. They round the chapter off with practical implications and recommendations for individuals and organizations.

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Mark E. Moore and Lana L. Huberty

The purpose of this chapter is to examine the impact of organizational leadership and how it affects diversity orientation and the managing of diversity relative to individuals with disabilities. To critically examine this topic, the authors conceptualize the theoretical model of disability diversity orientation. Specifically, they posit that top management support, environment perspectives and organizational culture provide the underpinning for the orientation theory. A prominent theorem of the conceptualization is that diversity orientation is linked to the managing of disability diversity in work organizations. Finally, this chapter concludes with recommendations based on best practices for integrating individuals with disabilities into the workforce.

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Lauren Lindstrom, Kara Hirano and Richie Thomas

Career development for individuals with disabilities is a complex process, influenced by multiple interrelated systems. Numerous studies document that across low-, middle- and high-income countries, individuals with disabilities are more likely to be unemployed, work in lower-wage occupations, have restricted access to education and face individual and systemic barriers to career advancement. This chapter utilizes a systems theory framework (Patton and McMahon, 2014) to describe current status and offer recommendations for improving employment options for individuals with disabilities worldwide. Information and strategies are included that address individual systems such as values, beliefs, self-concept, interests, ability, disability and gender; social systems including peers, families, community groups, workplace and educational institutions; and environmental-societal systems including policies, economic structures, physical environments and geographic locations. To facilitate career development and increase access and equity for individuals with disabilities, the authors advocate for a holistic capacity building approach, integrating individual, social and environmental influences.

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Laurie Gutmann Kahn, Edwin Obilo Achola and Tiana Povenmire-Kirk

Although young adults with disabilities face increased barriers towards career development, individuals with disabilities are not a heterogeneous group. Utilizing an intersectional framework allows us to understand the barriers and unique experiences of young adults with disabilities as they engage in career development. This chapter explores how disability interacts with other marginalized individual and group identities (such as race, language and gender) for young adults with disabilities in the context of their career development. Implications for career development professionals and policy development are provided.

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Gemma L. Bend and Vincenza Priola

This chapter explores the intersection of gender and disability identities based on the study of disabled women’s experiences of work and career. It reports the findings analysed from in-depth interviews with seven employed women who have long-term physical disabilities, focusing on the difficulties that women with a disability experience in the workplace and the implications that these experiences have on women’s identity and their careers. Three themes are discussed: experiences of discrimination; disability and career; and support in employment. The findings show evidence of a conflict between physically disabled women’s self-identity and social identity. Visual cues of one’s identity, such as gender and a physical disability, that makes an individual look different from a non-disabled individual, appeared to impact upon work experiences almost as much as the limitations that a physically disabled body presented. This was particularly evident in appearance-based professions such as beauty therapy or in male-dominated work environments. The findings will be of interest to policy-makers and organisations when implementing future services to support disabled individuals.

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Thomas Calvard

This chapter aims to review and develop work on the ‘impostor syndrome’ or ‘impostor phenomenon’, defined as the experiencing of persistent feelings of inadequacy and fraudulence despite evidence of competence and accomplishments. There are arguments and evidence to suggest that impostor syndrome affects both women and men, but that it can play a particularly influential role in shaping high-achieving women’s gendered experiences of career and leadership development. This chapter therefore also considers the particular types of experiences, associations and dilemmas shaping women’s impostor experiences at work, as well as theories, examples and explanations of how they might affect their career development. The chapter concludes with several implications and recommendations for how organisations and employees of both genders can resist feelings of rigid conformity and inauthenticity, largely by striving to develop more open, inclusive workplace cultures that emphasise multiple strengths, forms and routes to career success.

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Sherry E. Sullivan and Shawn M. Carraher

Scholarship on professional careers have been dominated by linear, male-based models. These models do not accurate represent women’s careers or fully explain men’s careers given today’s boundaryless environment. The kaleidoscope career model (KCM) was developed from research on more than 3000 individuals and captures the complexities of both women’s and men’s careers. Like a kaleidoscope that produces changing patterns when rotated and its glass chips fall into new arrangements, the KCM describes how individuals arrange the various aspects of their lives to create a kaleidoscope career. Just as a kaleidoscope uses three mirrors to create infinite patterns, so individuals vary their emphasis on any one of three KCM parameters _ authenticity, balance and challenge _ when making decisions. This chapter illustrates the use of the KCM to promote greater gender equity in organizations and provides specifics on how organizations can create cultures that assist employees in fulfilling their needs for authenticity, balance and challenge.