Project Summary
Discriminatory behaviours against minorities of all kinds are common in many organizations. This may negatively affect e.g. their individual well-being and work performance. How can the inclusion of minorities at the workplace be safeguarded? Specifically, we are interested in those employees who possess a concealable stigmatized identity, and, thus, in principle have the option to not share this characteristic with others within the workplace. The particular minority group we study are lesbian women, gay men, and bisexual people (LGBs). This project investigates the interplay between informal social networks, organizational policies, and inclusion of invisible minorities at work. We focus on two aspects of inclusion - perceptions of belongingness and opportunities for authenticity - and their impact on work-related outcomes, for the individual and organization alike.

Research Design and Data
A multi-method approach will be used to address several sub-projects. First, we will collect mixed-method (semi-structured interview and ego-network) data on LGBs within their workplace, in order to assess their workplace experiences, perceptions of inclusion, and informal social networks. Insights gathered from this project may lead us to formulating new hypotheses, as well as inform further data collection later on in the project. In another sub-project, we will make use of newly collected survey data to establish the extent to which LGBs’ needs for belonging and authenticity are satisfied within their workplace, as well as organizational characteristics facilitating or hampering their inclusion. Making use of the same data, we will also take a closer look at current activities, aimed at increasing inclusion of LGBs, undertaken within organizations, the degree to which these are successful, and the role heterosexual allies play in this regard. Thirdly, we are investigating the possibility of conducting an experiment or a vignette study, in order to provide us with new insights on how deeply entrenched heterosexism is in our work and society.

Julian Rengers

Prof. dr. Rafael Wittek 
Prof. dr. Sabine Otten 
Dr. Liesbet Heyse 

University of Groningen, Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences, Department of Sociology

Sociology, Psychology

September 1, 2017 - August 31, 2021

University of Groningen


RUG logo 1

uu logo

vulogo 1


eur logo E

Don't have an account yet? Register Now!

Sign in to your account