Best Practices or Best Guesses:Which Corporate Diversity Programs Work? Frank Dobbin Harvard University, Department of Sociology Excellence Empowered by a Diverse Workforce: Achieving Racial & Ethnic Equity in Chemistry Arlington, VA, September 26, 2007 Thanks to the National Science Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and to my collaborators, Alexandra Kalev, Erin Kelly, and Daniel Schrage
White Men and Women in Management White Men White Women National Sample of 829 Firms
Minority Men and Women in Management Black Men Black Women Hispanic Men Asian Men Hispanic Women Asian Women
Approaches to Diversity • Establish Responsibility (Theory of Bureaucracy) • Diversity Taskforce • Diversity Manager • Combat Bias (Cognitive Psychology) • Diversity Training • Alter Incentives (Agency Theory in Economics) • Diversity Evaluations • Combat Social Isolation (Network Theory) • Network Program • Mentor Program
Which Programs Increase Diversity? • Establishing Responsibility • Diversity Taskforce • Diversity Manager • Combating Bias • Diversity Training • Altering Incentives • Diversity Evaluations • Combating Social Isolation • Network Program • Mentor Program • Another Instance of Establishing Responsibility?
Part II: Transparency vs. Targeting Formal, Transparent, Rules • Pro: Minimizes Discretion, Bias • Con: Disconnect – Practice Doesn’t Change Targeted Solutions • Pro: Pinpoint Problems • Con: Elicit Backlash
Part II Conclusions: Transparency vs. Targeting • Transparency Has Small Effects • Hiring and Promotion Don’t Change? • Bureaucracy May Institutionalize Inequality • Targeting Increases Diversity • Focuses Attention on Change • Identifies Candidates
What Can Academic Departments Do? • What Works in Firms? • Assign Responsibility Taskforces, Diversity Managers • Mentoring • Targeted Recruitment • What Doesn’t Work? • Diversity Training • Networking • Diversity Performance Evaluations • Transparency/ Bureaucracy