OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

Diversity Structures and Whites' Claims of Bias


Princess Egbule


Diversity structures (e.g. diversity trainings) have been implemented in companies to push the anti-discrimination agenda. However, previous research has shown that diversity structures can act as legitimizing cues and can threaten the authenticity of claims of discrimination made by low-status groups. Ironically, high-status group are typically threatened by pro-diversity organizational messages, as a more diverse workplace could potentially translate to high-status groups losing status. Could diversity structures meant to help minorities make it more likely that high-status bias claims are believed? Participants were randomly assigned to read a description of a company that had a diversity training vs. regular employee training, then read a claim of discrimination made by a White employee. There was a significant interaction (condition X GID) which suggested that, when participants in the control condition identified more with their in-group, the more believable they found the claim of discrimination to be. The unexpected but interesting result could be the result of participants in the diversity condition not wanting to appear racist or feeling that the White claimant was acting as a bad in-group member thus withdrawing their support. Implications for diversity structures and future research directions are discussed.

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