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The Misperception of Organizational Racial Progress Toward Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (WP-24-03)

Brittany Torrez, LaStarr Hollie, Jennifer Richeson, and Michael Kraus

Despite a checkered racial history, people in the US generally believe the nation has made steady, incremental progress toward achieving racial equality. In this paper, the researchers investigate whether this US racial progress narrative will extend to how the workforce views the effectiveness of organizational efforts surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Across three studies (N = 1,776), they test whether Black and White US workers overestimate organizational racial progress in executive representation. Torrez, Hollie, Richeson, and Kraus also examine whether these misperceptions, surrounding organizational progress, drive misunderstandings regarding the relative ineffectiveness of common organizational diversity policies. Overall, they find evidence that US workers largely overestimate organizational racial progress, believe that organizational progress will naturally improve over time, and that these misperceptions of organizational racial progress may drive beliefs in the effectiveness of DEI policies.

Brittany Torrez, Organizations and Management, Yale University 

LaStarr Hollie, Organization Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Jennifer Richeson, Philip R. Allen Professor of Psychology, Yale University, and IPR Faculty Adjunct

Michael Kraus, Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior, Yale University, and IPR Adjunct

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