Sanctioned Radicals: A comparative study of gender and race employee resource groups in tech
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CitationSeegars, Lumumba. 2021. Sanctioned Radicals: A comparative study of gender and race employee resource groups in tech. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
AbstractA key challenge that people of color and women face is their ability to contest racial and gender inequality within organizations. One prevalent approach that they have taken in the workplace has been to collectively organize through formal groups comprised of individuals who share a particular social identity, often known as Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). Despite the prevalence of people of color and women organizing through ERGs in order to contest racial and gender inequality within organizations, little is known about how the specific identities around which these groups are organized – e.g., Black, Asian, women – may shape their ability to contest inequality. In this dissertation, I use a qualitative inductive approach based primarily upon interviews with 118 employees within a Silicon Valley tech company in order to compare how race and gender shape the way people of color and women collectively organize within organizations to contest inequality. I primarily compare the Black, Asian, and women ERGs. I ask: How do women and people of color collectively organize around their identities within organizations in order to contest gender and racial inequality? Two questions stem from this overarching question. First, how is this process similar or different when organizing around gender versus race as well as across different racial groups? Second, how do individuals’ intersecting racial and gender identities shape their experiences within these groups? This dissertation contributes to research on race and gender inequality inside organizations, intersectionality, and collective action in the workplace.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37368349
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