Algorithmic technologies meet diversity: Re-organising work more equally?

In this lecture, I reflect on how algorithmic technologies are changing organizations and what these changes entail for historically subordinate groups (e.g. women, racialized, disabled, LGTBQ+ individuals etc.) in paid work and for diverse workforces as a whole. Drawing from my own research on factories, warehouses and the platform economy, I argue that algorithmic technologies potentially reduce historical inequalities between different socio-demographic groups of workers. They do so by allocating and assessing work in ways that no longer rely on culturally defined socio-demographic categories, as it has historically been the case. However, at the same time, algorithmic technologies enable employers to increase the competition among all workers for the same jobs and tasks, weakening the position of the whole (diverse) workforce in its relation to employers.

Patrizia Zanoni is full professor at the School of Social Sciences of Hasselt University. Drawing on critical traditions of thought, such as (feminist) Marxism, labour process theory and critical discourse analysis, her research investigates the role differences play in organizing capitalist economies and societies. Currently, her work focuses on how digital technologies are changing social categorization and the valuation of work and workers.

This lecture is part of the lecture series “Re-locating Gender and Diversity Studies: Transnational Perspectives” organized in the framework of the project “Creating Spaces: Enhancing Multiversal Knowledge Production in Gender and Diversity Studies” (CreSp), an experimental lab for collaborative exchange.


27. Februar 2024, 16.00


Universität Zürich, Rämistrasse 59, 8001 Zürich