Organizational Behavior Research Seminar: Dilan Eren

Thursday, November 30, 2023 10:30to12:00
Bronfman Building Room 301, 1001 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, QC, H3A 1G5, CA

Dilan Eren

Boston University

Labor Market Imprinting, Open-Access, and Inclusion: Entering the Tech Labor Market without a Computer Science Degree

Date: Thursday November 30, 2023
Time: 10:30 AM -12:00 PM
Location: Bronfman Building, Room 301


Alternative skilling resources—such as open-access coding initiatives—promise more democratized access to professional careers, previously closed via credentialism. Less clear is their capacity to alter labor market inequalities and make professional jobs more diverse and inclusive. While past scholarship highlights the demand-side related factors to assess the efficacy of such interventions, what is missing is the impact of supply-side responses. Relying on multiple interviews conducted with 74 aspiring developers and digital ethnographic observations, I show that imprints from previous labor market encounters differently shape how job-seeking aspirants make sense of the open-access tech labor market and the strategies they adopt to navigate it. The two distinct job-seeking strategies that I found were patterned along existing social inequalities and generated stratified pathways: Those who have been marginalized in the labor market before adopted the strategy that delayed their entry into the labor market and led them to target a limited variety of jobs. The findings of this study are striking because they reveal a neglected mechanism that perpetuates the lack of diversity in professional jobs: imprints from previous labor market encounters and the stratified pathways they generate for individual aspirants to enter the talent pool. I discuss the implications of these findings for organizations to make their workforce more diverse and inclusive.

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