Diversity best left to white men?

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Women and visible minorities who manage to break through the glass ceiling are often expected and enthusiastic to help others make it to the top, but it seems championing diversity can have other career costs.
 
Research from the University of Colorado finds that women and non-white executives who push for diverse hires may suffer for it in their own performance reviews. However, the opposite is true for white men.
 
“Women can lean in and try to bridge the confidence gap all they want, but they’re going to be penalized for advocating for other women, just like non-whites are,” said David Hekman, an author of the study and an assistant professor of management at the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business. “People are perceived as selfish when they advocate for someone who looks like them, unless they’re a white man.”
 
Hekman said he believes the negative stereotyping is a result of perceived self-interest.
 
Having visible diversity in executive positions is often seen as a sign of a progressive and supportive organization, but this is not necessarily the case if executives are held back from helping others climb the ladder behind them.
 
Companies might be able to curb this deterrent to diversity by swapping the “diversity” label with a more neutral term like “demographic-unselfishness,” Hekman said. It could also help to have a white male head up corporate diversity efforts.
 
 
 
  • Brenda on 2014-07-30 12:08:38 PM

    How incredibly sad.

  • Anonymous on 2014-07-31 9:26:59 AM

    Sad indeed

  • Jane on 2014-07-31 11:40:37 AM

    This expression 'white male head up corporate diversity efforts' has been thrown around as a way of discounting the voice of women and non-whites, in particular Blacks and Hispanics or people of other ethnic origins who do not represent 'white male'.

    For hundreds of years, white men have held power and very few have used their power to effect change and recognize the individual talent, skill and ability of other who are not like themselves. So, why would a white male heading up diversity make a difference? This is the reason when the a diversity job is posted, white males (except those with a disability or an LGBT) do not apply. The article does not speak about white males in this context. It seems to assume that the white male is not in the 'diversity' mix, which is incorrect.

  • Jane on 2014-07-31 11:43:08 AM

    This expression 'white male head up corporate diversity efforts' has been thrown around as a way of discounting the voice of women and non-whites, in particular Blacks and Hispanics or people of other ethnic origins who do not represent 'white male'.

    For hundreds of years, white men have held power and very few have used their power to effect change and recognize the individual talent, skill and ability of other who are not like themselves. So, why would a white male heading up diversity make a difference? This is the reason when the a diversity job is posted, white males (except those with a disability or an LGBT) do not apply. The article does not speak about white males in this context. It seems to assume that the white male is not in the 'diversity' mix, which is incorrect.

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