The Wall Street Journal:
Corporations, not-for-profit groups and governments spend billions of dollars every year on diversity training—without knowing whether the programs work. A review of almost 1,000 studies on interventions aimed at reducing prejudice found that most programs weren’t tested. For the few that were, including media campaigns and corporate-diversity training, the effects, wrote Elizabeth Levy Paluck of Princeton and Donald P. Green of Yale in the Annual Review of Psychology (2009), “remain unknown.”
What would it mean to transfer such insights to ordinary work environments? A good starting point is to ensure that the language in job advertisements is gender neutral. Research by Danielle Gaucher and Justin Friesen of the University of Waterloo and Aaron C. Kay of Duke University, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (2011), found a clear pattern in how men and women responded to certain words on job search websites. Men were drawn to jobs looking for candidates who were competitive, assertive, individualistic and ambitious; women, to jobs seeking applicants who were committed, supportive, compassionate and understanding.
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