Mission, Vision & History

EqualDiv@Work was launched in June 2009 by a group of senior diversity scholars from the member institutions who had been collaborating professionally in various projects over the previous 10 years. It is a multidisciplinary group of researchers investigating the relation between individuals’ socio-demographic profiles and their positions in organizations and on the labor market with particular attention to the social, economic and institutional factors and processes determining such positions.

Drawing from a variety of scholarly traditions and methodological approaches, EqualDiv@Work scholars specifically attempt to gain insight into the causes of inequality along socio-demographic lines, and how such inequality can be effectively diminished, with positive effects for individuals, organizations and society as a whole.

Examples of current (joint) research projects are:

  • the identity construction of successful ethnic minority professionals (UHasselt, KU Leuven)
  • ethnic inter-group dynamics (UTilburg, ULiège, UHasselt)
  • gender and careers in the academia (UTilburg, UHasselt)
  • effective inclusion and diversity management practices and tools (ULiège, KU Leuven, UHasselt, UTilburg )
  • work-life balance (UTilburg, UHasselt, KU Leuven)
  • the effects of individual and institutional factors on older employees’ employability (KU Leuven)
  • the heterogeneous discursive construction of diversity within organizations (UHasselt, KU Leuven)
  • age-sensitive HRM (ULiège, UHasselt)
  • workplace experiences of disabled employees (UHasselt)
  • workplace experiences of homosexual, bisexual and transgender employees (UHasselt)
  • women on boards of directors (UHasselt).

EqualDiv@Work has three main goals:

  1. Fostering cutting-edge, high-quality research on diversity which can inform and support organizational and societal equality-enhancing change.
  2. Fostering interaction, collaboration and information sharing among researchers working on diversity-related issues in the low lands.
  3. Creating a supportive environment for junior diversity researchers, where they can present and discuss their research, gain information on research processes, funding opportunities, seminars and conferences and publication channels, and extend and consolidate their international professional networks.

 

Since its launch, the network has been operating on a self-funded basis. We aspire to achieve our mission goals through flexible, low-budget, bureaucracy-lean, network structure and practices which are attuned to the needs and priorities of the network members. In line with this philosophy, our main activity are two one-day seminars a year. During each seminar three papers are presented and discussed and a network meeting is held. Papers by junior researchers are always given priority. Participants are charged no fees and only have to self-fund transportation costs and the social dinner after the seminar. The partner institutions host the seminars and provide for the lunch and the coffee-break. The program is set up as to allow participants to travel back home on the same day, avoiding accommodation costs.

 

History

EqualDiv@Net is an initiative of a group of senior diversity scholars from the member universities who had previously already been collaborating professionally in various projects. It emerged from a shared need to create a long-term forum of discussion and information sharing on diversity-related issues with a regional, yet international scope including both the senior scholars themselves and their research teams. To meet this need, the funders consciously chose for a flexible structure avoiding dependency on external funding.

Since its launch in June 2009, the network has organized a spring and a fall seminar a year (see Meetings & Seminars for complete list). Up to the spring 2012 seminar, all seminars included three papers by members of the network.

In September 2012, we exceptionally held for the first time a two-day seminar “Diversity and Inequality in Contemporary Organizations” including external speakers. Thanks to  a grant of the Flemish community for inter-university collaborations, the network was able to invite two scholars from the UK and the USA to give keynote speeches at Hasselt University and open this activity to a wider public  (see Meetings & Seminars for more detailed information).