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Women, minorities bear the layoff brunt more: Study

Posted on Mar 28 2014 | IANS

New York, March 28 : Current corporate layoff practices focusing on positions and tenure, rather than worker performance are inimical to maintaining workplace equality, a new research has found.

Women and people from minority communities bear the burnt of such downsizing polices -- reducing diversity at workplace, the study said.

"Downsizing is increasingly done in ways that hit managerial diversity hardest, and practices that help protect diversity have become less and less common," said professor Alexandra Kalev of the Tel Aviv University in Israel.

"Most diversity programmes in place today are based on 'best practices', not on best data, which appear to undermine efforts at managerial diversity," Kalev said.

The study was based on US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission data compiled between 1980 and 2002, as well as data collected from a survey of 327 private US-based companies.

The findings of the research showed that layoff practices led to reduction in the share of white women in management positions by 25 percent and of black men by 20 percent.

"This study is a wake-up call," Kalev suggested.

"There has been little to no attention to the fact that women and minorities bear more of the risk and disproportionately lose their managerial jobs," she said.

The study appeared in the journal American Sociological Review.

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