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Show Don't Tell: Diversity Dishonesty Harms Racial/Ethnic Minorities at Work.

Authors
  • Wilton, Leigh S1
  • Bell, Ariana N2
  • Vahradyan, Mariam1
  • Kaiser, Cheryl R3
  • 1 Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY, USA.
  • 2 University of California, Los Angeles, USA.
  • 3 University of Washington, Seattle, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Personality & social psychology bulletin
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2020
Volume
46
Issue
8
Pages
1171–1185
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/0146167219897149
PMID: 31959080
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Organizations aim to convey that they are diverse and inclusive, in part, to recruit racial minorities. We investigate a previously unexamined downside of this recruitment strategy: diversity dishonesty, that is, belief that an organization is falsely or incorrectly inflating its actual diversity. In four studies (total N = 871), we found that diversity dishonesty heightened minorities' concerns about fitting in, being authentic, and performing well at the organization. We also found that evidence-based cues (which "show" observers whether the organization has a positive or negative diversity climate), but not expressed cues (which "tell" observers about the organization's diversity), affect these expectations. Using correlational methodologies, Study 1 found these effects were pertinent to African American and Latinx participants' beliefs about their current workplaces, holding other diversity-related measures constant. Studies 2 to 4 used experimental methods to replicate these findings with African American participants, using a hypothetical workplace setting.

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