Gender, Work & Organisation

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Volume 26 Issue 5 (June 2019), Pages 593-764

From evidence to action: Applying gender mainstreaming to pay gaps in the Welsh public sector (pages 599-618)

Progress on reducing gender disparities remains painfully slow, despite efforts to identify the determinants of gender pay gaps and specify size and shape. Recent studies highlight the need for a more nuanced account of the way that public policy shapes organizational responses and insights into the types of organizational practices that diminish pay disparities. In response, this research reports on an action research intervention in three large Welsh public organizations, subject to a unique statutory equality duty. Data demonstrate how an evidence‐based gender mainstreaming approach facilitated the development of a ‘no blame’ strategy, which legitimized organizational proactivity through collaborative and empowering change management processes. The research contributes to the study of gender pay gaps by demonstrating that gender mainstreaming, with facilitative local conditions and supportive public policy, shapes action on gender segregation, with particular success in women's low‐paid employment. Conclusions highlight theoretical and policy implications arising from the research.

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