Case Studies: Gender diversity in teams pays dividends for all and at all levels. A 2014 study by Credit Suisse found that companies with more women in the boardroom increase company turnover and performance on the Stockmarket. In research, there is evidence that although women are still underrepresented in STEM disciplines women’s participation and the resulting team diversity improves team collaboration (Bear and Woolley, 2011). There is also evidence that gender-heterogeneous authorship of scientific publications increases citation rates (Campbell et al., 2013).
Bear, J. B., & Woolley, A. W. (2011). The role of gender in team collaboration and performance. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 36(2), 146–153. http://doi.org/10.1179/
Campbell, L. G., Mehtani, S., Dozier, M. E., & Rinehart, J. (2013). Gender-heterogeneous working groups produce higher quality science. PloS One, 8(10), e79147. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/
Abstract: People can make decisions to join a group based solely on exposure to that group’s physical environment. Four studies demonstrate that the gender difference in interest in computer science is influenced by exposure to environments associated with computer scientists. In Study 1, simply changing the objects in a computer science classroom from those considered stereotypical of computer science (e.g., Star Trek poster, video games) to objects not considered stereotypical of computer science (e.g., nature poster, phone books) was sufficient to boost female undergraduates’ interest in computer science to the level of their male peers. Further investigation revealed that the stereotypical broadcast a masculine stereotype that discouraged women’s sense of ambient belonging and subsequent interest in the environment (Studies 2, 3, and 4) but had no similar effect on men (Studies 3, 4). This masculine stereotype prevented women’s interest from developing even in environments entirely populated by other women (Study 2). Objects can thus come to broadcast stereotypes of a group, which in turn can deter people who do not identify with these stereotypes from joining that group.
Cheryan, S., Plaut, V. C., Davies, P. G., & Steele, C. M. (2009). Ambient belonging: how stereotypical cues impact gender participation in computer science. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97(6), 1045–1060. http://doi.org/10.1037/
Abstract: A sense of personal objectivity may prompt an ‘‘I think it, therefore it’s true’’ mindset, in which people assume that their own beliefs and introspections are, by definition, valid and therefore worthy of being acted on. In the present studies, priming a sense of personal objectivity increased gender discrimination, particularly among decision-makers who endorsed stereotypic beliefs or who had stereotypic thoughts made cognitively accessible through implicit priming. Implications for discrimination in organizational contexts, and for theories of attitude–behavior consistency, are discussed.
Uhlmann, E. L., & Cohen, G. L. (2007). “I think it, therefore it’s true”: Effects of self-perceived objectivity on hiring discrimination. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 104(2), 207–223. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.
Abstract: The present studies examined whether colorblind diversity messages, relative to multicultural diversity messages, serve as an identity threat that undermines performance-related outcomes for individuals at the intersections of race and gender. We exposed racial/ethnic majority and minority women and men to either a colorblind or multicultural diversity statement and then measured their expectations about overall diversity, anticipated bias, and group task performance (Study 1, N ? 211), as well as their expectations about distinct race and gender diversity and their actual performance on a math test (Study 2, N ? 328). Participants expected more bias (Study 1) and less race and gender diversity (Study 2) after exposure to a colorblind versus a multicultural message. However, the colorblind message was particularly damaging for women of color, prompting them to expect the least diversity overall and to perform worse (Study 1), as well as to actually perform worse on a math test (Study 2) than the multicultural message. White women demonstrated the opposite pattern, performing better on the math test in the colorblind versus the multicultural condition, whereas racial minority and majority men’s performances were not affected by different messages about diversity. We discuss the importance of examining psychological processes that underscore performance-related outcomes at the junction of race and gender.
Wilton, L. S., Good, J. J., Moss-Racusin, C. A., & Sanchez, D. T. (2015). Communicating more than diversity: The effect of institutional diversity statements on expectations and performance as a function of race and gender. Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology, 21(3), 315–25. http://doi.org/10.1037/