Women and minorities don’t shy away from hiring their peers out of fear of the competitive threat they may pose, but rather out of fear of the retribution they may incur, new research suggests.
The reason they are so reluctant to hire other women and ethnic minorities is because they are often penalized by their bosses for doing so, according to a study to be presented at next month’s annual meeting of the Academy of Management.
“Nonwhite and women leaders who engage in diversity-increasing behaviors in the highest organizational ranks are systematically penalized with lower performance ratings for doing so,” the study’s authors wrote in the research. “Our findings suggest that nonwhite and women leaders may increase their own chances of advancing up the corporate ladder by actually engaging in a very low level of diversity-valuing behavior.”
The researchers said by downplaying their race and gender, these leaders may be viewed as worthy of being promoted into the highest organizational echelons.