Investigating Mansplaining in the Workplace

Linda Schweitzer, Professor, Sprott School of Business
Chelsea Smith, PhD Student, Sprott School of Business
Funder: Mitacs Research Training Award Proposal – $6,000

Though the term “mansplaining”(i.e., when a man condescendingly clarifies something to a woman, assuming that she does not already know the information) has gained popularity through widespread sharing of memes across social media, the interaction it describes represents a problematic, but underexplored, aspect of modern workplace culture. To date, scholars have done little to better understand what mansplaining is, how often it occurs, what effect it has on employees’ well-being, and what can be done to prevent its occurrence. These investigations are especially important because of mansplaining’s gendered nature, which provides reason to believe that women and people of colour will be disproportionately affected by this subtle – but potentially insidious – form of mistreatment. This study seeks to investigate the nature, prevalence, predictors, and outcomes associated with mansplaining in two ways. First, through a qualitative analysis of social media posts on the topic, to gain further understanding of the experience mansplaining. Second, through a quantitative survey asking employees to report their experiences of mansplaining, other forms of workplace mistreatment, and their own personal- and job-related well-being, during the past year. These findings have the potential to benefit employees and organizations alike. Employees are the most valuable asset to organizations, and as such, protecting their well-being is vital. If mansplaining, a relatively innocuous form of gendered interaction, is found to hinder the thriving of employees (especially the well-being of those who are already marginalized) and organizations, steps should be taken to reduce its occurrence and destructive effects.

International student mobility: Investigating Canadian trends, issues and new directions

Amrita Hari, Associate Professor, Pauline Jewett Institute of Women’s and Gender Studies
Funder: SSHRC Exchange – $7,000

International student mobility is rapidly changing the Canadian higher education landscape as well as how Canadian governments and institutions invest in the internationalization of Canada’s academic environments. Canada’s international student population has grown exponentially over the last decade. This growth is complemented by significant federal government investments in international student recruitment and increased opportunities for transitions to permanent resident status. Despite a growing interest in studying in Canada among international students and efforts from the Federal government to increase recruitment and transitions to permanent residence through targeted programs, the lack of communication and coordinated efforts between key stakeholders can present a barrier to both recruitment and the successful integration of international students upon arrival and after. There is an urgent need to bring together the various stakeholders, academic, government, and community, involved in the recruitment, retention, and integration of international students to inspire debate and concrete action to improve the experiences of international students and suggest reforms towards more coordinated and integrated actions. With the support of the Multidisciplinary Research Catalyst Fund (MRCF) led by Prof. Linda Schweitzer, dedicated to understand the future of work and workers in Canada, this project will host a one-day workshop to improve coordinated action among stakeholders, develop a list of key issues and concerns, determine interest among MRCF members on the topic, and further external relationships towards mutually beneficial projects and initiatives.

A Longitudinal Study of Organized Social Support for Highly-Skilled Immigrant Women's Social and Professional Integration

Luciara Nardon, Associate Professor, Sprott School of Business
Amrita Hari, Associate Professor, Pauline Jewett Institute of Women’s and Gender Studies
Funder: SSHRC Insight – $223,614

Despite the critical role of immigrants in sustaining Canadian economic growth, highly-skilled immigrants face a persistent challenge when integrating into the Canadian labour market, experiencing unemployment, underemployment, deskilling, and downward career mobility. Highly-skilled immigrant women face additional integration challenges based on their dependent status, domestic responsibilities, and gender based discrimination. Canada has made significant changes to its skilled immigration policies to resolve the labour integration issues mentioned above culminating in the introduction of the Express Entry (EE) program in 2015. EE relies on the increased participation of provinces, employers,
and most importantly other organizational actors (universities, industry organizations, etc.) to select, admit, and facilitate the integration of skilled Canadian newcomers. The majority of qualitative investigations on this topic adopt a cross-sectional design; less is known about how newcomers adjust to the new society over time. The few studies that adopt a longitudinal design rely on quantitative measures and methods. We propose a qualitative longitudinal study to investigate the long term impact of organizational programs of support in the social and professional integration of highly-skilled immigrant women.

Factors facilitating work integration of immigrants in Canada

Daniel Gulanowski, Assistant Professor, Sprott School of Business
Greg Sears, Associate Professor, Sprott School of Business
Funder: CRIW Ignite! – $10,000

This study aims to identify key factors that may be associated with enhanced career opportunities and employment outcomes for skilled immigrants and international student graduates in Canada. The primary goal of the project is to identify and better understand the role of various structural, interpersonal, and individual factors in facilitating the workforce integration of these two groups.

Immigrant women in IT

Aliya Kuzhabekova, Post Doctoral Fellow, Sprott School of Business
Luciara Nardon, Associate Professor, Sprott School of Business
Merridee Bujaki, Professor, Sprott School of Business
Amrita Hari, Associate Professor, Pauline Jewett Institute of Women’s and Gender Studies
Funder: SSHRC Partnership Engage – $25,000

In this project a team of researchers from the Center for Research on Inclusion at Work (CRIW) at Carleton University will partner with Ottawa Chinese Community Service Center (OCCSC) to assist its division, International Talent Acquisition Center (In-TAC), in generating a better understanding of the employment integration experiences of immigrant women in the field of Information Technology (IT). Despite a track record of success in providing employment support services for immigrants in Ottawa, as well as in assisting employing organizations by providing them with strategies for successful integration of immigrant employees, OCCSC has experienced difficulties recruiting women immigrants for their programs and placing them with employers, especially those in IT related professions. OCCSC has recognized a gap in existing programming and seeks to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of the needs of this underserved group, as well as identify strategies to increase immigrant women’s engagement and placement. To help OCCSC address this knowledge gap, CRIW’s team will leverage their experience in conducting research on international mobility and immigrant integration, as well as previously established connections with policy and practitioner community to conduct a mixed-methods study on immigrant women experiences in transitioning to jobs in IT field.

COVID-19 Related Research

Pandemic, panic, and precarity: Interviews with international students stranded in Ottawa during COVID-19

Luciara Nardon, Associate Professor, Sprott School of Business
Amrita Hari, Associate Professor, Pauline Jewett Institute of Women’s and Gender Studies
Funder: CRIW Ignite! – $10,000

This study investigates the experiences of international students in Ottawa during the COVID-19 pandemic, when traditional sources of emotional and financial support were drastically altered, leaving many international students in a highly precarious situation. The study aims to understand international students’ social situation, perspectives, and strategies to address the challenges they faced. Additionally, the study aims to adapt interviews as a social research tool to provide support for individuals facing a difficult and dynamic situation, enhance their well-being, and recommend adjustments to research tools to provide benefits to participants.

The Changing Nature of Work due to COVID-19

Linda Schweitzer, Professor, Sprott School of Business
Sean Lyons, Professor, Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics
Katrina Lauch, PhD Student, Sprott School of Business
Funder: CRIW Ignite! COVID-19 Special Funding – $5,000
Funder: Carleton University COVID-19 Rapid Response Research Grants – $18,507

The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated significant and widespread changes in how most people work. The current work-at-home directive has resulted in the sudden collision of work and home life for many individuals. The rapid and urgent shift to remote work has forced many people who would not otherwise have had the opportunity and/or desire to work remotely to do so. As we collectively confront the challenges and opportunities afforded by the mass movement to remote work, this study investigates what working at home through the COVID-19 pandemic reveals about the future of working. Specifically, we explore the short, medium and long term shifts associated with people’s adjustment to working remotely from home, including the nature of work (employer expectations, hours, workspace), professional identity and career aspirations, the interaction of work and personal life, the division of labour in the home (housework, caregiving) and physical and psychological boundaries.

Weathering the Storm Alone: Examining the Impact of COVID-19 on the Psychological and Job-Related Well-Being of Single Working Mothers

Angela Dionisi, Associate Professor, Sprott School of Business
K Dupré, Associate Professor, Psychology
Chelsea Smith, PhD Student, Sprott School of Business
Funder: CRIW Ignite! COVID-19 Special Funding – $5,000

This study examines how social isolation and physical distancing practices during the COVID-19 crisis have changed the nature of work and are uniquely impacting single mothers’ mental health and work-related attitudes. Furthermore, this study also explores how the burdens of the current work context are disproportionately falling on single mothers via the need to access financial aid, food banks, and/or other forms of social assistance. Special attention will be given to identifying possible supports to offer single mothers during such a precarious situation, and in so doing, reduce the vulnerability of this population.