Achieving Diversity in the Workplace Can Hurt the Achievers


Steve Hix/Somos Images/Fuse/Thinkstock(BOULDER, Colo.) — It’s obviously good to value diversity in the workplace, but there are times when it can backfire.

Specifically, a University of Colorado study says that women and minorities in executive positions who believe that things will be better with more women and minorities at their job often wind up making things worse for themselves.

For example, women who promote other women are viewed as less warm, while non-white executives seeking to hire more minority candidates are seen as less competent.

These opinions usually turn up in their performance reviews. 

On the other hand, male white executives who try to foster more diversity are often lauded for their efforts in their reviews.

David Hekman, one of the study’s authors, maintains that self-interest plays a role in this disparity, concluding, “People are perceived as selfish when they advocate for someone who looks like them, unless they’re a white man.”

Hekman suggests that there are a number of ways to level the playing field, such as using the term “demographic-unselfishness” rather than “diversity.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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