Gender and Diversity Research Group

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The Gender and Diversity Research Group build innovative quality research and lead discussions addressing gender and diversity issues within the community, at a national and international level. The group was formed in 2007 with the aim of establishing a network of researchers within (and beyond) AUT University who share an interest in gender and diversity.


We initiate socially relevant research and engage in high quality consultancy and research for organisations. We bring together a range of interdisciplinary researchers to investigate and support research in the following areas:
  • Significance of the body in the workplace
  • Gender equity and diversity issues in organisations and society
  • Critical analysis of heteronormativity in organisational cultures and practices
  • Workplace access issues
  • Effects of the intersections of identities including ethnicity, migration experiences, religion, gender, disability and class in the workplace and society
  • Exploration and impact of men and masculinities in specific settings, such as sport
  • Mapping workforce inequality for youth and those classified as older workers
  • How diverse worldviews inform methodologies
  • New ways of thinking about careers
  • Leadership and leader(ship) development
  • Teaching pedagogies and practices


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 19
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    Equality As a Threshold Conception: Challenging Future Manager’s Perceptions
    (Emerald, 2018) Dyer, S; Hurd, F
    Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the potential to develop a shared understanding of systemic discrimination and the complexity of equality and an appreciation for the range of interventions designed to redress inequality within the context of business school curricula. Design/methodology/approach Qualitative material was gathered over a four-year period through written reflections of student interpretations of equality. Participants were enroled in a human resource management (HRM) course critically examining systemic gender discrimination, women’s organisational experiences, gendered employment outcomes and the range of interventions designed to redress gendered employment outcomes. Threshold concepts framed the analysis of participant reflections. Findings The paper shows that while the participants developed a shared understanding of systemic gender discrimination, their interpretations of equality and appreciation for the range of interventions available to redress inequality differed. These differences were shaped by the extent to which participants integrated their understanding of systemic discrimination with their interpretations of equality, and the extent to which the interventions to inequality transformed, upheld or challenged participant agendic self-identity and world view. Research limitations/implications The study provides support for continued use of equality as a construct in both research and teaching settings. The study highlights that unequal outcomes are an enduring phenomena, and that introducing the notion of equality to the classroom helps develop student’s ability to understand dynamics of discrimination in the workplace. The limitations of the study relate to the sample size, and dependence on a single specialist HRM course, in addition to the specific New Zealand context. Practical implications The differences in interpretations have implications for the way educators introduce discussions of equality within the business school classroom. Originality/value The paper demonstrates that developing a shared understanding of systemic discrimination does not always lead to developing a shared understanding of the complexity of equality or appreciation for the many forms of interventions available.
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    ‘Good’ Things Take Time: A Living Story of Research As ‘life’
    (Emerald, 2019) Hurd, F; Dyer, S; FitzPatrick, M
    Purpose Although the process of fieldwork is often characterised by dis-order, the requirement to adhere to a tightly defined methodology and produce timely research outputs often leads us to present our findings as though the research has been the product of a linear process. In this paper, we unmask this paradox, by documenting the dis-order and development of a research project 15 years (so far) in duration. Design/methodology/approach The approach used in this article is one of autoethnographic reflection, drawing on aspects of Boje’s living story approach, incorporating not only the ‘linear’ narrative of the research process, but also fragments of ante-narrative, themes running above and below the dominant. Within the study we are reflecting on, we employ a range of qualitative methods, including interview, focus groups, memory work, and living story (ante narrative) methods, within a critical management research methodology Findings Our experiences show that although ‘messiness’ may be an inherent part of qualitative research, it is this very dis-order, and the consequent opportunities for time and space, that allows the research, and the researcher, ‘time to breathe’. This reflexivity allows for methodological development and refinement, and ultimately rigorous and participative research, which also honours our participants. We argue that although this approach may not align with the current need for prolific (and rapid) publication, in allowing the dis-order to ‘be’ in the research, and allowing the time to reassess theoretical and methodological lenses, the resultant stories may be more authentic - both the stories gathered from participants and the stories of research. Originality/value The paper highlights the intertwining of stories of participants and stories from research, which is a significant addition to understandings of the ‘messiness’ of qualitative research. This paper adds to the growing call for the inclusion of ‘chaos’ and authenticity in qualitative research, acknowledging and valuing the humanity of the researcher, and giving voice to the paradox between the time to methodologically develop, and the requirement for timely research.
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    Changing Perceptions About Feminists and (Still Not) Claiming a Feminist Identity
    (Routledge, 2016) Dyer, S; Hurd, F
    We examine student perceptions about feminists and feminism, and the willingness to claim a feminist identity and engage in collective activism, as stated at the beginning and end of a Women’s Studies course. Course participation simultaneously fostered more positive views towards feminists and feminism and entrenched the unwillingness to claim a feminist identity and engage in activism. These contradictory outcomes stemmed from the critical capacity to recognise that structural inequality is reproduced through disciplinary relationships. Thus, unwillingness was entangled with feelings of fear and vulnerability in relation to the national context whereby neoliberalism guides the governance of the self, and where gender equality has presumed to be achieved. The article highlights that developing the willingness to identify and act is intimately shaped and constrained by the socio-political context and personal relationships. We consider the implications of this insight in relation to pedagogical assumptions about developing feminist knowledge in the classroom.
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    Women Opting In?: New Perspectives on the Kaleidoscope Career Model
    (SAGE Publications, 2018-09-24) Elley-Brown, M; Pringle, JK; Harris, C
    This paper reports on findings of an interpretive study, which used the Kaleidoscope Career Model as lens through which to view the careers of professional women in education. The study used hermeneutic phenomenology, a methodology novel in management and career management to gain a subjective perspective on women’s career experience and what career means to them at different career stages. Findings indicated that women did not “opt-out,” or adopt a clear-cut gender beta career pattern. Rather, they mirrored an alpha pattern with challenge continuing into mid-career. The three Kaleidoscope Career Model parameters operated in an ongoing way in women’s lives, and authenticity was a powerful theme throughout their careers. However, women in late career tended to “lean back”; their desire for authenticity became subjugated by their need for balance. These findings add to extant Kaleidoscope Career Model research and reveal factors, which contribute to women’s ability to “opt-in” rather than out of their careers.
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    The Global Filipino Nurse: An Integrative Review of Filipino Nurses' Work Experiences
    (Wiley, 2017)
    AIM: To understand the work-related experiences of Philippine-trained nurses working globally. BACKGROUND: The Philippines is a major source country of foreign-trained nurses located globally. However, there is paucity of research on professional factors and career related issues affecting foreign-trained nurses' work experiences. METHODS: An integrative review through a comprehensive search of literature was undertaken from November 2015 and was repeated in August 2016. Seven articles satisfied the selection criteria. RESULTS: Filipino nurses experienced differences in the practice of nursing in terms of work process, roles and autonomy. Moreover, they encountered challenges such as work-related discrimination and technical difficulties within the organisation. CONCLUSION: A clear understanding of Filipino nurses' work experiences and the challenges they have encountered suggests identification of important constructs influencing effective translation of nursing practice across cultures and health systems, which then form the basis for support strategies. IMPLICATION FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT: It is critical to recognize foreign-trained nurses' experience of work-related differences and challenges as these foster favorable conditions for the management team to plan and continually evaluate policies around recruitment, retention and support offered to these nurses. Furthermore, findings suggest internationalization of nursing framework and standards integrating a transcultural paradigm among staff members within a work organisation.
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