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White male workers respond poorly to women and racial minorities in power and take it out on colleagues: report

White male workers respond poorly to women and racial minorities in power and take it out on colleagues: report
Newsweek
By Chantal Da Silva
Published: March 11, 2018

Michigan Ross professor Jim Westphal called the responses his research team received from participants "unfortunate."

He warned that the tendency of white male executives to avoid helping female and racial minority colleagues could "harm the career prospects" of workers who are already under-represented in leadership roles.

"Our study identifies an important mechanism by which such appointments may, counterintuitively, harm the career prospects of other female and racial minority managers by reducing the amount of help that they receive from their white male colleagues," Westphal said in a statement.

He also said the lack of support shared between colleagues in the office could reflect poorly on the CEO as a result.

Women and people of color are already more likely to be promoted to high leadership levels within companies during times of crisis, a phenomenon known as the "glass cliff." If they are unable to lead their companies out of a crisis, they are quickly replaced by white men, according to a 2014 study on the phenomenon.

The study, titled "One Step Forward, Two Steps Back," is set to be published in the April issue of the Academy of Management Journal and is one of the first of its kind to systematically analyze how "important internal stakeholders" respond to the appointment of a female and/or racial minority CEO.

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