Nav: Home

Creating diverse schools and workplaces requires inclusion, not just numbers

March 01, 2018

Atlanta, GA - New research shows when it comes to successfully engaging and including minorities in the workforce and schools, organizations need to focus on inclusion. Several social psychology researchers will share details of their results at the SPSP Annual Convention on March 2nd.

"Institutions tend to overemphasize numerical diversity to the exclusion of inclusion" says Erika Hall (Emory University), one of the presenters and co-chair of the symposium.

Inclusive Businesses

An organization can be diverse in numbers, yet minorities may still report feelings of discrimination. How does one go beyond this "numerical" diversity to true feelings of inclusion? Erika Hall surveyed 486 minority business owners from the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council to determine what might have an effect. Her research showed a high combination of authenticity coupled with increased levels of perceived racial diversity significantly decreased major experiences of discrimination (B = -.17, p < .05). Without authenticity, racial diversity had no significant effect on feelings of discrimination.

"As a minority, part of the benefit of having people around you that look like you is that you may feel more comfortable enacting behaviors or discussing topics that are specific to your culture, and you may feel that you belong because other people like you are a part of the organizational culture."

These benefits are lost however, according to Hall, "if institutional constraints restrict you from bringing your whole, true self to work and dictate that you don't belong, numerical diversity will become obsolete."

Organizational attempts to be inclusive can lead to feelings of exclusions for other groups.

Tessa Dover (Portland State University) looked at the affect pro-diversity messages have for those in high status groups, in this study, white men. In a series of experiments, she and colleagues show that whites who imagined seeking a job were negatively affected by pro-diversity messages and performed more poorly in potential job interviews. They expressed concerns of being treated unfairly, and of anti-white discrimination.

Inclusive Schools

Tiffany Brannon's (University of California, Los Angeles) research provides evidence that school settings can affirm identity among members of negatively stereotyped groups-- by, for instance, incorporating diverse cultural ideas and practices within academic courses or extracurricular activities-- and, in turn, afford an increased sense of inclusion.

Analyzing longitudinal datasets (N= 2,926 and N=1,255) of African American and Latino American college students Brannon's research demonstrates that such efforts to affirm identity is related to benefits among members of negatively stereotyped groups including better problem solving, increased task persistence, higher GPAs, and more positive health and well-being outcomes.

MarYam Hamedani (Stanford University) will discuss work on how difference-education interventions can successfully educate students about social difference and improve first-generation college students' grades.

Today's increasingly diverse and divided world frequently requires the ability to understand and navigate across social difference. Hamedani and colleagues propose that interventions that teach students about social difference can not only foster students' intergroup skills, but can also help disadvantaged students succeed in school.

"This study supports a growing body of work demonstrating that teaching students a contextual understanding of difference--i.e., recognizing that people's differences come from participating in and adapting to diverse sociocultural contexts--can be leveraged to foster student success and close achievement gaps," summarizes Hamedani.

The Moving Beyond Diversity to Inclusion: Building Inclusive Schools and Workplaces symposium takes place March 2, at 12:45 p.m. ET. The session is one of over 80 scientifc sessions at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Annual Convention in Atlanta, Georgia.

Society for Personality and Social Psychology

Related Discrimination Articles:

When kids face discrimination, their mothers' health may suffer
A new study is the first to suggest that children's exposure to discrimination can harm their mothers' health.
Racial discrimination in mortgage market persistent over last four decades
A new Northwestern University analysis finds that racial disparities in the mortgage market suggest that discrimination in loan denial and cost has not declined much over the previous 30 to 40 years, yet discrimination in the housing market has decreased during the same time period.
Successful alcohol, drug recovery hampered by discrimination
Even after resolving a problem with alcohol and other drugs, adults in recovery report experiencing both minor or 'micro' forms of discrimination such as personal slights, and major or 'macro' discrimination such as violation of their personal rights.
Sexual minorities continue to face discrimination, despite increasing support
Despite increasing support for the rights of people in the LGBTQ+ community, discrimination remains a critical and ongoing issue for this population, according to researchers.
Fathers may protect their LGB kids from health effects of discrimination
Lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals who report being discriminated against but who feel close to their fathers have lower levels of C-reactive protein -- a measure of inflammation and cardiovascular risk -- than those without support from their fathers, finds a new study from researchers at NYU College of Global Public Health.
Uncovering the roots of discrimination toward immigrants
Immigrants are often encouraged to assimilate into their new culture as a way of reducing conflict with their host societies, to appear less threatening to the culture and national identity of the host population.
Using artificial intelligence to detect discrimination
A new artificial intelligence (AI) tool for detecting unfair discrimination -- such as on the basis of race or gender -- has been created by researchers at Penn State and Columbia University.
Evidence of hiring discrimination against nonwhite groups in 9 countries examined
A new meta-analysis on hiring discrimination by Northwestern University sociologist Lincoln Quillian and his colleagues finds evidence of pervasive hiring discrimination against all nonwhite groups in all nine countries they examined.
Perceived discrimination associated with well-being in adults with poor vision
This study of nearly 7,700 men and women 50 or older in England looked at how common perceived discrimination was among those with visual impairment and how that was associated with emotional well-being.
Discrimination against older people needs attention, study says
Ever cracked a joke about old people? It might seem funny, but in a world where the population aged 60 or over is growing faster than all younger age groups, ageism is no laughing matter, says a University of Alberta researcher.
More Discrimination News and Discrimination Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans 2.0
More than test scores or good grades–what do kids need for the future? This hour, TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, both during and after this time of crisis. Guests include educators Richard Culatta and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

One of the most consistent questions we get at the show is from parents who want to know which episodes are kid-friendly and which aren't. So today, we're releasing a separate feed, Radiolab for Kids. To kick it off, we're rerunning an all-time favorite episode: Space. In the 60's, space exploration was an American obsession. This hour, we chart the path from romance to increasing cynicism. We begin with Ann Druyan, widow of Carl Sagan, with a story about the Voyager expedition, true love, and a golden record that travels through space. And astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson explains the Coepernican Principle, and just how insignificant we are. Support Radiolab today at