Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
Workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives have been shown to delegitimize discrimination claims made by members of low-status groups, namely women and people of color (Dover et al., 2020; Kaiser et al., 2013). Previous research attributes this effect to the fact that DEI initiatives send signals of organizational fairness, thus causing individuals to overestimate the fairness of the organization and overlook discrimination claims. Given the fact that up to 40% of LGBTQ+ employees in one survey reported some form of workplace harassment due to their sexual orientation or gender identity, it is imperative that this line of research is extended to the LGBTQ+ community (Badgett et al., 2007). Utilizing a study design adapted from Kaiser et al. (2013), this research assesses the extent to which the presence (vs. absence) of diversity initiatives that emphasize LGBTQ+ inclusion leads to the delegitimization of LGBTQ+ discrimination claims. This experiment demonstrates that the presence of a diversity statement did not undermine the perceived validity of discrimination claims made by LGBTQ+ employees, nor did it lower support for discrimination-related litigation, indicating that the effects demonstrated in previous research may not replicate in regard to LGBTQ+ workplace discrimination claims. However, additional research—with stronger signals of organizational support for DEI initiatives and other representations of LGBTQ+-identifying individuals—is needed to verify this finding.
Everhart, Lindsay, "Do Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Initiatives Cause More Harm Than Good?: Extending Research to the Domain of LGBTQ+ Discrimination" (2022). Honors Theses. 1623.