Gender equality at workplace in Pakistan: An intersectional perspective


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Keynote address by Dr Jawad Syed at the 6th International Conference on Business Management (ICoBM), held at NUST Business School, Islamabad on 26-27 October 2016.


This paper argues that the project of gender equality in Pakistan may not be accomplished without taking into account the intersection of gender with ethnicity and other forms of identity. Indeed, notwithstanding recent strides in legislation protecting women’s rights within and outside the workplace, gender equality remains a sore area in Continue reading


International Arms Trade and Refugee Crises


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Snip20160815_14The production, sales and export of arms not only enables and intensifies armed conflicts worldwide but is also related to the number of refugees and displaced persons. This is an issue of social responsibility and business ethics of organisations and governments involved in the arms trade.

The issue is of equal importance to organisations dealing with refugees and their wellbeing and inclusion. There is generally a dearth of studies addressing the ethical aspect of the arms industry, particularly its impact on refugees.

In this presentation at a professional development workshop at the Academy of Management Conference (Anaheim 2016), Prof Syed discusses the implications of international arms trade for the current refugee crises.

The inability to fit in and become invisible


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The inability to fit in and become invisible: Narratives of British Pakistani female managers and professionals

By Shehla Riza Arifeen and Jawad Syed

Paper presentation at the Academy of Management Conference, Anaheim, August 5-9, 2016.

This paper uses an intersectional lens to explore career experiences of ‘the second generation’ British Pakistani female managers and professionals, and examines the ways in which organizations contribute to or mitigate inequality. While this group should be relatively advantaged by virtue of its managerial and professional status, the study finds that the disadvantage caused by intersectionality of gender, ethnicity and religion continues to be reproduced. The paper demonstrates how practices that are considered ‘the norm’ in organizations, and are crucial to fitting in, can create feelings of difference and marginalization because of the diverse employees’ inability to fit in and become invisible. The study shows that being at an intersectional location increases these women’s visibility in a negative way, creating a situation that perpetuates and reproduces inequalities.

A relational perspective on gender equality and mainstreaming: The case of Pakistan 


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This paper argues that single-level conceptualisations of gender mainstreaming and equality within organisational or legal policy domain are inadequate to capture its contextual and multilevel nature.

It develops and offers a multilevel perspective on this issue and situates it in the context of Pakistan, a developing Muslim majority country in South Asia.

Based on a review of macro-level factors (e.g., laws, policies and culture), meso-level factors (e.g., organisational interventions) and micro-level factors (e.g., intersection of gender with social class and family status) in Pakistan, the paper develops a contextual perspective on gender mainstreaming to achieve gender equality at multiple levels.

Speaker: Prof Jawad Syed
Event: Talent, Diversity and Development (TDD) Research Group Seminar Series
Venue: University of Huddersfield Business School
Date of lecture: 14 June 2016

EURAM 2016 GRDO SIG Plenary: Postoclonialism, power and diversity


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Postoclonialism, power and diversity

European Academy of Management Conference
‘Gender, Race and Diversity in Organisations’ Special Interest Group

Plenary speakers
Beverly Dawn Metcalfe, Jawad Syed, Hamid Kazeroony, and Harry J. Van Buren III

Date: 3 June 2016

Venue: Université Paris Est Créteil

The plenary offered a global perspective on postoclonialism and diversity. It
highlighted and challenged the power of colonial and neoliberal knowledge that Continue reading

Westminster Briefing event in London on ‘Supporting BME People in the Workplace’


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1211Thursday, 5th May 2016

Jawad Syed’s lecture on a relational and intersectional perspective on diversity management: The case of Muslim women at work in the UK

The event was facilitated by Jagtar Singh (NHS Trust Chairman) while other speakers included Omar Khan (Director, Runnymede Trust) and Anne Sylvester (Diversity Consultant)

Targeted killings in Bangladesh: Victims, culprits and countermeasures – Jawad Syed


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bdSince 2013, Bangladesh has been repeatedly in headline news across the world due to systematic and incessant targeted killings. In the mainstream media, both in South Asia and the West, the focus has been generally on high profile murders of secular and progressive bloggers, e.g., recent worldwide broad coverage of the tragic murder of Xulhaz Mannan, editor of Bangladesh’s first LGBT rights magazine. However, not many know that these killings are only one part of the story. Secularists and bloggers are not the only community under attack in Bangladesh. Unless other pieces of the story are taken into account, the picture will remain incomplete and a meaningful resolution may remain evasive.

Continue reading

Djokovic business case for higher men’s pay in tennis harms equality – Jawad Syed


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Source: The Conversation

In a controversial yet thought-provoking comment, world number one Novak Djokovic has questioned the equality of prize money in tennis, suggesting that men should be paid more as they have more spectators. Djokovic made the remarks following the furore created by Raymond Moore, CEO of the Indian Wells tournament, who said that women players rode on “the coat-tails” of the men’s game. Moore has since resigned.

Djokovic said:

Stats are one of the … reasons why maybe we should get awarded more. As long as it is like that and there is data and stats available and information … upon who attracts more attention, spectators, who sells more tickets and stuff like that, in relation to that it has to be fairly distributed.

He further said that male players should follow in the footsteps of the female players who “fought for what they deserve and they got it. On the other hand, I think that our men’s tennis world, ATP world, should fight for more because the stats are showing that we have much more spectators on the men’s tennis matches. Women should fight for what they think they deserve and we should fight for what we think we deserve.”

Djokovic’s comments can be analysed from two perspectives on diversity: the business case and social justice case.

From a purely business perspective, the argument that viewing statistics may be used to determine fair distribution of prizes at joint events seems to be credible. This is broadly consistent with the human resource management principle of pay for performance or commission for sales. However, this argument fails to make or promote the case for why equality and diversity matters in business.

Women historically have been stereotyped and disadvantaged in all fields of life, including sports, and part of Continue reading

Sexual Orientation Diversity and Islam


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Lecture by Professor Jawad Syed at the SexGen Seminar

Date: 30 October 2015
Venue: Quayside, University of Huddersfield

British South Asian Issues of Gender and Sexuality foreground some of the challenges and opportunities facing British South Asians living in the UK today. These experiences are forged via the intersections of age and generation, ethnicity, faith, gender, sexual identity and other social characteristics such as socio-economic class and spatiality. Whilst not avoiding ‘thorny issues’ such as forced marriage, sexual orientation and the impact of fundamentalism, the workshop placed these in the context of the many different subjectivities that British South Asians have, and highlighted agentic coping strategies for dealing with racism and other social inequalities.

Professor Syed’s lecture highlighted the Islam vs West oppositional binaries that currently dominate the issues of sexual orientation diversity with reference to Muslim communities and tend to ignore important colonial and other historical contexts within which such debates are to be placed and critically evaluated. Syed also Continue reading