Make Minorities Great Again: A contribution to workplace equity by identifying and addressing constraints and privileges Defended on Friday, 12 May 2017

Over half a century after the introduction of anti-discrimination laws that prohibit employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (United States), and the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention of 1958 (International Labour Organization), workplace inequality based on these social categories continues to persist. This dissertation aims to provide a comprehensive account of how stereotypes and bias cause workplace inequality when it comes to leadership careers. Thus, the first two academic chapters focus on barriers to equal opportunities in the workplace (Chapter 2), and on gaining a better understanding the unique barriers that minorities face in using their networks (Chapter 3). In addition, it aims to offer new ways to overcome bias, as well as a starting point to equalize privilege between majorities and minorities. Therefore, the latter two academic chapters examine how the underrepresentation of minorities in leadership positions leads to gender-biased perceptions of leadership effectiveness, thereby highlighting the precarious landscape that women need to navigate in order to be perceived as effective (Chapter 4), and what effective leadership entails for cultural minority leaders, thereby highlighting the need for an approach to leadership effectiveness that takes demographic contingencies into account (Chapter 5). The insights in this dissertation form the basis of several suggestions on how to create a work environment that offers more equal opportunities for minorities’ career advancement.


Leadership, vertical career advancement, social categorization, barriers, social networks, authenticity, cultural metacognition

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