Research Topic

Understanding Barriers to Workplace Equality: A Focus on the Target’s Perspective

About this Research Topic

The workplace continues to be the site of many continuing inequalities: unequal rates of participation, biased rewards structures (e.g., promotions and pay gaps), discriminatory treatment on a day-to day basis, and disproportionate representations in positions of power. Barriers to achieving workplace equality can be overt or subtle; they can be direct or indirect; they can reside in the workplace itself, or within society more generally; and they can affect people from a range of social groups and categories. This includes women and individuals from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds (groups that have received the most attention in past research), but also LGBTQ+ individuals, those from a low socio-economic background, older employees, pregnant women and parents, and those with disabilities.

With this Research Topic we aim to gain a better understanding of workplace inequality by defining it broadly, in a way that is inclusive of all forms of group-based discrimination. Thus, we seek to bring together, in one place, research on workplace inequality including those inequalities based on gender and race, with research on inequalities based on other, less researched group memberships and protected characteristics, such as those based on (but not limited to) sexuality, trans and non-binary identity, class, age, religion, parental or pregnancy status, or ableness. We believe such synthesis across different group memberships will be beneficial for the field, both for theory and for practice. We thus also encourage papers that look at workplace inequality from an intersectional perspective.

With this Research Topic, we also seek to focus on the target’s perspective: those who are subjected to unequal treatment or expectations in the workplace, rather than on those who perpetrate inequality. We thus aim to understand how individuals may respond to external or contextual barriers to workplace equality, such as stereotypes and the attitudes of others, societal norms, workplace culture, a lack of role models, or discriminatory practices. We are interested in a range of responses, including (but not restricted to) targets’ attitudes and emotions, their choices and decision-making, and their performance and other work-place behaviors.

We are open to a range of methodologies and manuscript types, including original research, theory papers, and reviews. We encourage research that is pre-registered, we will consider work that is both hypothesis confirming and disconfirming, and those that report on the (non)-reproducibility of existing findings.

Photo credit to wildrose115.


Keywords: workplace discrimination, gender discrimination, prejudice, stereotyping, workplace inequality


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The workplace continues to be the site of many continuing inequalities: unequal rates of participation, biased rewards structures (e.g., promotions and pay gaps), discriminatory treatment on a day-to day basis, and disproportionate representations in positions of power. Barriers to achieving workplace equality can be overt or subtle; they can be direct or indirect; they can reside in the workplace itself, or within society more generally; and they can affect people from a range of social groups and categories. This includes women and individuals from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds (groups that have received the most attention in past research), but also LGBTQ+ individuals, those from a low socio-economic background, older employees, pregnant women and parents, and those with disabilities.

With this Research Topic we aim to gain a better understanding of workplace inequality by defining it broadly, in a way that is inclusive of all forms of group-based discrimination. Thus, we seek to bring together, in one place, research on workplace inequality including those inequalities based on gender and race, with research on inequalities based on other, less researched group memberships and protected characteristics, such as those based on (but not limited to) sexuality, trans and non-binary identity, class, age, religion, parental or pregnancy status, or ableness. We believe such synthesis across different group memberships will be beneficial for the field, both for theory and for practice. We thus also encourage papers that look at workplace inequality from an intersectional perspective.

With this Research Topic, we also seek to focus on the target’s perspective: those who are subjected to unequal treatment or expectations in the workplace, rather than on those who perpetrate inequality. We thus aim to understand how individuals may respond to external or contextual barriers to workplace equality, such as stereotypes and the attitudes of others, societal norms, workplace culture, a lack of role models, or discriminatory practices. We are interested in a range of responses, including (but not restricted to) targets’ attitudes and emotions, their choices and decision-making, and their performance and other work-place behaviors.

We are open to a range of methodologies and manuscript types, including original research, theory papers, and reviews. We encourage research that is pre-registered, we will consider work that is both hypothesis confirming and disconfirming, and those that report on the (non)-reproducibility of existing findings.

Photo credit to wildrose115.


Keywords: workplace discrimination, gender discrimination, prejudice, stereotyping, workplace inequality


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 January 2018 Abstract
31 August 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 January 2018 Abstract
31 August 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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