Diversity’s Potential Backlash

Diversifying the employee ranks could come with potential backlash.

A meta-analysis from academics at New York University, University of Michigan and George Mason University found that affirmative actions policies can potentially cause a stigma. Specifically, the researchers' paper found that companies that have affirmative action programs risk subjecting minority workers to hightened scrutiny from peers.

The study's findings, which are based off of 45 previous pieces of research, was first reported in The Wall Street Journal earlier today.

In addition to the increasing chance for scrutiny, the study also found that minority workers hired at firms with affirmative action policies are seen as less warm and likeable. Because affirmative action is designed to make minorities and women more competitive, providing them with preferential treatment, others are more inclined to view them in a negative light.

The paper by Lisa Leslie, an associate professor of management at NYU’s Stern School of Business, University of Michigan’s David Mayer and George Mason’s David Kravitz is set to be published in the August issue of the Academy of Management journal.