Diversity in the labour market

– A multidisciplinary research environment financed by the Swedish Research Council 2019–2024

Since 2000, equal opportunities in the labor market irrespective of gender, ethnicity, age, disability, and sexual orientation has been high on the European Union’s agenda, and is considered to be an important societal goal.

To reach this goal governments primarily use legislation, including anti-discrimination laws. In response to such policy aims as well as employers’ own diversity goals, many firms and organizations use different diversity measures. These include assigning organizational responsibility for diversity, work to reduce managerial bias, and developing other measures to facilitate better inclusion of minority workers.

However, many employers struggle to actually achieve diversity and in that way contribute to equal opportunities in the labor market. This struggle is evident from the patterns observed in most labor markets, which tend to be segregated in the workplace, firm, and at the occupational level. Women are underrepresented in managerial and other high-income jobs. Immigrants and ethnic minorities often have lower employment rates than that of the majority population, and/or have jobs that do not fit their qualifications. Older workers have a difficult time finding a new job. Disability and sexual orientation also affect many workers’ labor market outcomes.

The main purpose and long-term goal of this research environment is to gain knowledge regarding what measures are effective in promoting diversity in the labor market. Another purpose is to examine to what extent groups that have so far been less studied in the discrimination literature are subject to discrimination, and to investigate how belonging to several disadvantaged groups further affects discrimination.

More information on the Swedish web page »»