Presentation Title

Diversity in the Workplace: What Job Applicants Write and How Diversity Statements are Perceived

Advisor Information

Abigail Folberg

Location

MBSC Ballroom - Poster #708 - U

Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

4-3-2022 12:30 PM

End Date

4-3-2022 1:45 PM

Abstract

Many companies request diversity statements from job applicants that describe applicant support for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Whites are more likely than Blacks to perceive DEI initiatives negatively. Thus, Whites may view diversity statements as less fair and likely to elicit their interest than Blacks. Further, little is known about the content of statements, including whether statement content differs by race. Black and White jobseekers (ns = 110 and 86, respectively) were recruited from Prolific Academic and presented with an ostensive job advertisement for an entry-level management position. Participants wrote a brief diversity statement and completed measures of justice and interest. Partially consistent with expectations, Whites viewed diversity statements more negatively than Blacks, but only among men. Surprisingly, statement content did not vary across race. Most participants proposed to promote DEI through interpersonal interactions (57.7%); few (4.1%) wrote about organizational policies. Specific actions included diverse hiring (14.7%), diversity training (9.6%), having diverse clientele (9.6%), and corporate events (6.1%). Few (5.1%) intended to confront prejudice. As many participants (33.7%) mentioned no specific policies, the utility of such statements in employee selection is unclear. Further, promoting diversity through hiring is also unlikely to be helpful without systemic support for DEI, as organizations are unlikely to retain employees of color without a positive diversity climate. Yet, few participants mentioned supporting or starting systemic initiatives. Future work might examine the processes that guide applicant support for specific initiatives, and whether applicants believe they are able to change organizational culture.

This document is currently not available here.

COinS
 
Mar 4th, 12:30 PM Mar 4th, 1:45 PM

Diversity in the Workplace: What Job Applicants Write and How Diversity Statements are Perceived

MBSC Ballroom - Poster #708 - U

Many companies request diversity statements from job applicants that describe applicant support for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Whites are more likely than Blacks to perceive DEI initiatives negatively. Thus, Whites may view diversity statements as less fair and likely to elicit their interest than Blacks. Further, little is known about the content of statements, including whether statement content differs by race. Black and White jobseekers (ns = 110 and 86, respectively) were recruited from Prolific Academic and presented with an ostensive job advertisement for an entry-level management position. Participants wrote a brief diversity statement and completed measures of justice and interest. Partially consistent with expectations, Whites viewed diversity statements more negatively than Blacks, but only among men. Surprisingly, statement content did not vary across race. Most participants proposed to promote DEI through interpersonal interactions (57.7%); few (4.1%) wrote about organizational policies. Specific actions included diverse hiring (14.7%), diversity training (9.6%), having diverse clientele (9.6%), and corporate events (6.1%). Few (5.1%) intended to confront prejudice. As many participants (33.7%) mentioned no specific policies, the utility of such statements in employee selection is unclear. Further, promoting diversity through hiring is also unlikely to be helpful without systemic support for DEI, as organizations are unlikely to retain employees of color without a positive diversity climate. Yet, few participants mentioned supporting or starting systemic initiatives. Future work might examine the processes that guide applicant support for specific initiatives, and whether applicants believe they are able to change organizational culture.