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The Road Less Travelled: Using Administrative Data to Understand Inequalities by Sexual Orientation

Francisco Perales, Associate Professor of Sociology at the School of Social Science | The University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia
Publication Date: 28-08-2021

Journal: Law in Context

Understanding the processes contributing to equality of opportunity and outcomes in contemporary societies is at the core of the discipline of sociology. This paper illustrates the value of administrative data to underpin research aimed at identifying, monitoring, and addressing socio-economic disparities between population groups. To accomplish this, I draw on three case studies of recent empirical research leveraging administrative data to examine pro-cesses contributing to the (re)production of inequalities by sexual orientation. Collectively, the three case studies exemplify how data sources that fall within the broad category of ‘administrative data’ can help social researchers generate new, policy-relevant knowledge on socio-economic inequalities, as well as robust information to contextualize public and legislative debate. The paper concludes with a discussion of the promises and challenges of using administrative data to understand inequalities by sexual orientation, as well as inequalities between other minority and majority groups.

Keywords: Equality · Transparency · Positive Duties · Mainstreaming

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You, Me, and Them: Understanding Employees’ Use of Trans-Affirming Language within the Workplace

Francisco Perales · Christine Ablaza · Wojtek Tomaszewski · Dawn Emsen‑Hough
Publication Date: 2021-05-31

Journal: Sexuality Research and Social Policy

As the benefits of workplace inclusion become progressively recognized, employers are making greater efforts to cultivate inclusive organizational environments where employees from diverse backgrounds can thrive. Yet academic research has often neglected issues of sexual orientation and gender diversity. We contribute to redressing this knowledge gap by examining processes of workplace inclusion for employees with diverse genders and sexualities, focusing on an under-researched area—the role of language.

Using a regression framework, we empirically examine how different individual and workplace factors are associated with employees’ inclusive language use toward their trans- and gender-diverse colleagues. To accomplish this, we undertook the first-ever analyses of unique survey data from the 2020 Australian Workplace Equality Index Employee Survey (n~27,000 employees and~150 employers).

Our results highlight the role of employees’ socio-demographic characteristics (e.g., their gender and sexual orientation, age, education, and religiosity) as well as the role of features of the workplace environment (e.g., employer’s size, location, and inclusion culture).

While use of appropriate language toward individuals with diverse genders and sexualities constitutes an important stepping stone to their workplace inclusion, this study has demonstrated that its adoption remains incomplete and highly segmented.

Social Policy Implications
These findings bear important implications for the design, targeting, and implementation of programs aimed at fostering trans-affirming language and the workplace inclusion of individuals from sexual and gender minorities.

Keywords: Diversity · Inclusion · Language · Transgender · Gender diversity · Workplace

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