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Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00282

Understanding Diversity Ideologies from the Target’s Perspective: A Review and Future Directions

  • 1University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • 2Stanford University, United States

We present a review of the diversity ideologies literature from the target’s perspective. In particular, we focus on how diversity ideologies—beliefs or organizational practices with regards to how to approach diversity—affect racial minorities’ and women’s self-perceptions and experiences at work. This review suggests that a diversity aware ideology (i.e., multiculturalism) is more beneficial than a diversity blind ideology (i.e., colorblindness) for racial-ethnic minorities (e.g., better performance outcomes; more psychological engagement, inclusion, and workplace satisfaction; more positive leadership self-perceptions; and reduced perceptions of bias and turnover intentions). In contrast, for women, gender-blindness is associated with more positive outcomes than gender awareness (e.g., enhanced self-confidence, pro-active behaviors and leadership emergence). Importantly, multiculturalism and gender-blindness can both produce negative side effects for racial minorities and women, respectively, which highlights the importance of developing approaches to address the shortcomings of these conventional ideologies. We discuss the implications and offer recommendations for future research.

Keywords: diversity, Diversity management, Organizational Psychology, Minority - Majority, Workplace equality

Received: 24 Aug 2018; Accepted: 29 Jan 2019.

Edited by:

Teri Kirby, University of Exeter, United Kingdom

Reviewed by:

Oriane Georgeac, London Business School, United Kingdom
Leigh Wilton, Skidmore College, United States  

Copyright: © 2019 Gundemir, Martin and Homan. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Seval Gundemir, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, 1012 WX, Netherlands, s.gundemir@uva.nl