Diversity Thresholds: How Social Norms, Visibility, and Scrutiny Relate to Group Composition | Academy of Management Journal

Analyses of S&P 1500 boards reveal that significantly more boards include exactly two women (the descriptive social norm) than would be expected by chance. This overrepresentation of two-women boards–a phenomenon we call “twokenism”–is more pronounced among more visible companies, consistent with our theorizing around impression management and scrutiny. Experimental data corroborate these findings and provide support for our theoretical mechanism: decision makers are discontinuously less likely to add a woman to a board once it includes two women (the social norm), and decision makers’ likelihood of adding a woman or minority to a group is influenced by the descriptive social norms and scrutiny faced. Together, these findings provide a new perspective on the persistent underrepresentation of women and minorities in organizations.

Source: Diversity Thresholds: How Social Norms, Visibility, and Scrutiny Relate to Group Composition | Academy of Management Journal

One Comment Add yours

  1. “twokenism” – wow, great. Women on boards AND in the pipeline will be a huge topic of discussion for at least the next couple of years. One driver will be the new Gender Diversity Exchange https://www.genderdiversityexchange.com

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