Economic and social inequalities are defining features of the world we live in.
The ways in which differences of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, sexual orientation, age, ability and class are treated create and reinforce major inequalities in society and in organisations. These distinctions, particularly around gender, are a prism through which we analyse organisations and the political economy of work and employment. Our emphasis on diversity encourages new understandings of existing challenges and innovative ideas for the possibilities of social change. Our research focuses on the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion, as well as the concept of a fair society that protects and promotes equal freedom and substantive opportunity for all.
The ‘Women + Work’ research cluster brings together women researchers from three universities: RMIT University, University of Melbourne and Monash University. The cluster has facilitated a number of workshops and public events. It also has provided a focus for on-going research, such as ‘women in trade unions’ (Cathy Brigden).
Research projects commencing in 2016
The Ethics of Commercial Sex
Researchers: Meagan Tyler
Debates about gender and the commercial sex industry in the social sciences have largely been cut off from critical approaches to work and business ethics more commonly found in labour and business studies. The concept of ‘sex work’ has increasingly been used to legitimise systems of prostitution in policy and advocacy over the last two decades but the idea remains vague. This project takes an innovative approach of using key concepts from business ethics and labour studies (such as decent work, ethical consumption and just transitions) to inform existing debates about harm and gender equality concerns regarding commercial sex.
Mentoring in Higher Education
Researchers: Raymond Trau
Collaborative Research Project between Raymond Trau and RMIT Careers and Employability, and the project is partly funded by the College of Business Internal Grant.
Entrepreneurship among Women Refugees in Australia
Researchers: Afreen Huq, Vidhula Venugopal
This project focuses on the key issue of refugee resettlement and rehabilitation and studies entrepreneurship among refugee women. The contexts of refugees and immigrants are distinctly different. While skilled migration involves an element of choice, better employment prospects, and a predictable improvement in their quality of lives, refugees almost always arrive with limited to no resources, no choice of destination, and no assurance of work. Although Australia resettles significant proportion of refugees worldwide, no systematic support is available to the refugee women to move into entrepreneurship as a way to integrate into the economy.
The study aims to understand the factors, particularly role of family and social structures that influence the development of self-confidence in women entrepreneurs from refugee background and their formation of the entrepreneurial identity in a context different to their home country. It will provide insights into the gendered social construction of entrepreneurship. With the promise of increased intake of refugees and Melbourne being one of the two cities to attract most of the incoming refugees, it is important to understand the support services and systems to be put in place to facilitate entrepreneurship among refugees to ensure their economically and socially sustainable integration into the Australian society.
|Meagan Tyler||Fiona Macdonald|
|Sara Charlesworth||Vidhulla Venugopal|
|Cathy Brigden||Annie Delaney|
|Afreen Huq||Raymond Trau|
Research projects from our affiliate members
What's wrong with this picture? Directors and gender inequality in the Canadian screen-based production industry
What’s Wrong With This Picture is an examination of the root causes that underpin systemic gender inequality in the Canadian screen-based production industry. Recommendations point to current initiatives in Australia as an example of good practice to promote diversity and inclusivity in key leadership roles.
Researchers: Amanda Coles
Amanda Coles is a Lecturer in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne and is an affiliate member of the Centre of People, Organisation and Work at RMIT University.