Effects of Organization Type and Roe v. Wade Statement on Gender Diversity

Lauren Chiappetta Psychology/Sociology

Danielle Geerling Assistant Professor of Psychology


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Various organizations wish to diversify; however, the definition of diversity is not always straightforward. Due to recent events surrounding women’s rights, we examined how a diversity statement that made explicit reference to Roe v. Wade affected perceptions of gender diversity within universities and companies.
Consistent with the preregistered sample size, we collected data from 222 respondents (71.1% White; 49.8% male, 36.4% female). Participants were randomly assigned to read a hypothetical diversity statement, in which we varied the type of organization (university vs. company) and the presence or absence of a Roe v. Wade statement. Then participants rated their perceptions of the organization’s diversity levels and their judgments about the diversity statement itself, as well as answering some questions about their own experiences.
We conducted a 2(organization type: university vs. company)x2(Roe statement: present vs. absent) factorial ANOVA on the dependent variable of gender diversity. Results indicated a nonsignificant main effect of the presence of a Roe v. Wade statement, F(1, 218)= 0.008, p=.929, η2=.000 and a nonsignificant interaction effect, F(1, 218)=.003, p=.953, η2=.000, but showed that participants perceived gender diversity differently based on if the organization of interest was a university or a company, F(1, 218)=3.969, p=.048, η2=.018. Participants perceived greater gender diversity when evaluating a hypothetical university’s statement (M=3.723, SD=.925) compared to a company’s statement (M= 3.464, SD=.995), but perceived gender diversity did not differ depending on the presence (M= 3.588, SD=.982) or absence (M= 3.595, SD=.957) of a Roe v. Wade statement (see Figure 1). Additionally, being assigned to the company or university condition did not affect perceived gender diversity differently based on the presence of a Roe. v. Wade statement.
So far, it appears that organization type (university vs. company) affected perceived gender diversity, but it is unclear whether the presence of the Roe v. Wade statement had an impact on perceived gender diversity. We plan to conduct further preregistered analyses, including examining different dependent variables (e.g., perceived inclusion and sincerity of diversity statement) and the effects of individual differences (like sentiments toward Roe v. Wade). Our hope is that results from this study will shed light on how diversity statements circulated by both universities and companies can make organization members feel included.

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