Assessing workplace equality : Survey validation and factors affecting perceived workplace discrimination
Heininen, Eerika (2019)
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Abstract: Introduction: Workplace discrimination and inequality persist in the labour market and the negative consequences for individuals and organizations are well known. However, less is known about measurement of these issues. This study set out to evaluate the internal consistency and construct validity of one workplace equality survey, KivaE. This survey has been designed to tap into various aspects of perceived workplace discrimination. The second aim was to examine the effects of gender, age and personal exposure to discrimination on KivaE results. Method: The sample consisted of 854 respondents from a Finnish trade union. KivaE’s reliability was estimated with an internal consistency measure Cronbach’s alpha. Construct validity was probed with an exploratory factor analysis. Moreover, the effects of age, gender, and personal exposure to discrimination were examined with analysis of variance (ANOVA) and chi-square tests. Results: KivaE survey showed an acceptable internal consistency (Cronbach’s α > .80). The single factor solution that was chosen accounted for 55 % of the variance on KivaE. Based on these findings, a KivaE standardized summative score was calculated and used in the subsequent ANOVA. According to ANOVA, respondents who reported having personally experienced discrimination during the last year, also reported higher level of perceived inequality than respondents who did not report having personally experienced discrimination. There was also an interaction between gender and personally experienced discrimination: among those without personal experiences of discrimination, men showed lower level of perceived inequality and discrimination than women. Chi-square tests indicated that women and respondents who were over 50 years old reported more often having personally experienced being discriminated against than men and younger respondents. Discussion: The results offer preliminary support for KivaEs internal consistency and construct validity as a measure for perceived workplace equality. They also indicate continuing age- and gender-related discrimination in Finnish work life. However, the results should be interpreted with caution until they are replicated with more heterogeneous samples and more comprehensive validity analyses. Based on the present results, some modifications to the survey are suggested. In the future, more interdisciplinary collaboration in workplace equality survey development as well as research on measurement invariance in discrimination surveys is called for.
- 515 Psykologia 
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