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Kenan Institute 2022 Annual Theme: Stakeholder Capitalism
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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

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Employees often engage in collective grassroot efforts to bring about gender equity in the workplace. Such coalition-based advocacy is largely driven by women, which has led to debate about whether men’s involvement as allies can help. Integrating literatures on signaling and legitimacy, we propose that the demographic composition of a gender equity advocacy coalition matters: Men-only groups lack coalition legitimacy, or the perception that they are the “right” spokespersons for gender equity issues, whereas women-only groups struggle to convey issue legitimacy, or the perception that gender equity is of strategic importance within business organizations.

A recent TechCrunch article describes the new collaboration between the Kenan Institute-affiliated Entrepreneurship Center, Duke University, Stanford University and others to grow and support founder diversity in the tech industry.

Public opinion polls reveal Americans are turning to companies with purpose and ethics to lead us through the profound anxiety and crises we are currently experiencing as a nation. We developed a corporate reputational equity checklist that will enable firms to brand or rebrand themselves as inclusive and equitable places to work, as well as position their companies as a collective of civically engaged corporate citizens poised and willing to address society’s most pressing ills, including systemic racism.

Cities increasingly will have to demonstrate a strong commitment to reputational equity to remain attractive places to live, work, play, and do business given the racially and ethnically disparate impacts of Covid-19 pandemic and recent senseless killings of unarmed African Americans that spawned a nationwide protest movement. We leverage evidence-based best practices of inclusive and equitable development from the research literature to devise a reputational equity checklist—a portfolio of strategies, policies, tactics, procedures and practices cities will need to embrace to dismantle all forms of “Isms” and “Phobias” that are principally responsible for the major divisions that exist in American society today.

Despite recognizing the importance of events, researchers have rarely explored the influence of broader societal events on employee experiences and behaviors at work. We integrate perspectives on events and social identities to develop a cross-level theoretical model of the spillover effects of mega-threats, which we define as negative, large-scale, diversity-related episodes that receive significant media attention.

On September 30, 2018, California became the first U.S. state to set quotas for women directors on corporate boards. The passage of this law resulted in a significant decline in shareholder value for firms headquartered in California. The decline in shareholder value is directly related to the number of female directors that firms are required to add under these quotas.

Ballooning levels of societal inequality have led to a resurgence of interest in the economic causes and consequences of wealth disparity. What has drawn less attention in the scientific literature is how different levels of resource inequality influence what types of individuals emerge as leaders. In the current paper we take a distal approach to understanding the psychological consequences of inequality and the associated implications for leadership.

We use unique worker-plant matched panel data to measure differences in wage changes experienced by workers displaced from closing plants. We observe larger losses among women than men, comparing workers who move from the same closing plant to the same new firm. However, we find a significantly smaller gap in hiring firms with female leadership.