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Have you been labelled at work by your gender, age or ethnicity? Here’s how those labels can delegitimize you

January 25, 2023

This is an excerpt of an article written for The Conversation by Claudine Mangen, RBC Professor in Responsible Organizations and Associate Professor, Concordia University.

Label with markers on table Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Have you or a colleague ever been negatively labelled at work, whether it’s based on your gender, age, race or ethnicity? Labels can often be mundane because we use them spontaneously on an everyday basis. But they can also be far from innocuous. Labels convey value judgments and serve to control the behaviour of the people they’re applied to.

My explanations of labelling draw on research, including my own. I head a research program on gender inequalities and organizational leadership at Concordia University. My research is concerned with everyday practices like labelling, how they arise and what they do.

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