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Best Practices or Best Guesses: Which Corporate Diversity Programs Work? Frank Dobbin Harvard University, Department of Sociology Thanks to the National.

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Presentation on theme: "Best Practices or Best Guesses: Which Corporate Diversity Programs Work? Frank Dobbin Harvard University, Department of Sociology Thanks to the National."— Presentation transcript:

1 Best Practices or Best Guesses: Which Corporate Diversity Programs Work? Frank Dobbin Harvard University, Department of Sociology 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 Excellence Empowered by a Diverse Workforce: Achieving Racial & Ethnic Equity in Chemistry Arlington, VA, September 26, 2007

2 White Men and Women in Management White Men White Women National Sample of 829 Firms

3 Minority Men and Women in Management Black Men Hispanic Men Black Women Asian Men Hispanic Women Asian Women

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5 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

6 National Sample of 829 Firms in 2002

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8 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?

9 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

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13 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

14 What Can Academic Departments Do? What Doesn’t Work? –Diversity Training –Networking –Diversity Performance Evaluations –Transparency/ Bureaucracy What Works in Firms? –Assign Responsibility Taskforces, Diversity Managers –Mentoring –Targeted Recruitment

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