Edited by Alain Klarsfeld, Eddy S. Ng, Lize A.E. Booysen, Liza Castro Christiansen and Bård Kuvaas
Chapter 4: Brazilian, South African and US work environments: a comparative analysis of equal opportunity, diversity management and inclusion practices
This chapter compares workplace equality legislation regarding marginalized groups, such as women, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ identity and racial/ethnic populations in Brazil, South Africa and the USA. It also contrasts these policies against each nation’s historical, social, political and legal contexts, and outlines future directions. These three countries share similar historical experiences in the positioning of power differentials between ruling classes, indigenous groups and those subjugated to legacies of inequality. In Brazil and the US the legacy of slavery endures, and in South Africa the vestiges of apartheid remains. All three countries still battle the influences of these measures on equity, diversity and inclusion of racial/ethnic and gender groups, and continue to struggle with the outcomes of everyday experiences of equality. Legislation aimed at anti-discrimination, promoting gender equality, disability and racial ethnic diversity varies between the countries, but is in existence. The concept of affirmative action is employed in each country in varying forms. Brazil imposes specific quotas for the employment of the disabled and women in certain areas. South Africa also has established quotas in the employment and training of designated groups – blacks, coloreds, Indians, women and the disabled – and in ownership, shareholding. Conversely, in the USA, affirmative action is used as a mechanism for achieving equality for racial/ethnic minorities, women and persons with disabilities, and quota systems are considered unconstitutional.
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