Workplaces differences shape careers says NTU Assoc. Prof.

Workplaces differences shape careers says NTU Assoc. Prof.

 August 26, 2020

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Associate Professor in Occupational Health Psychology at Nottingham Trent University, Dr Maria Karanika-Murray, writes for HR Magazine exploring how initial differences in the workplace can shape a person’s career prospects.

"Major crises such as economic austerity and the current pandemic have aggravated existing vulnerabilities across several domains of life. Over time, such crises can have a snowball effect," writes Maria.

Maria is one of a group of academics who have studied how social inequality accumulates and how initial differences in opportunities and rewards can shape a person’s prospects in the workplace.

Her work has found that meritocracy is often a myth - getting ahead in the workplace is not always based on merit. She has also identified how HR practitioners can play a key role in decelerating the growth of inequality.

"Is career success a choice or a privilege?" writes Maria. "Some would argue that it is a choice and that success is based on how we apply our competencies. But choice does not happen in a vacuum."

Through her collaborative research, Maria identified nine different mechanisms that can promote the accumulation of inequalities, including stereotypes, erroneous attributions of status/competencies, differences in social capital, and structures that result in unequal access to opportunities and rewards by benefiting specific groups (e.g. ‘winner-take-all’).

Read the full article here.

An important focus on health, well-being and workplace success

Maria is an applied psychologist specialising in occupational health psychology (MSc, PhD, University of Nottingham).

While completing her PhD, Maria was employed as a researcher at the University of Nottingham. She joined Nottingham Trent University in 2009 and works as an Associate Professor.

Her research focus is on health and well-being, organizational health interventions (intervention evaluation), presenteeism, work addiction and aging.

Her research has been funded by government, Research Councils, Europe, charities and industry - and she has published extensively.

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