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Fast Company: Research shows us workplaces need this level of diversity to prevent tokenism

13 Jun 2020
Tokenism can hurt individual performance and the business overall according to an analysis of 80 studies over the past 25 years.

Originally found at Fast Company by Academy of Management

Anyone can be a token employee and experience a host of related problems. But being a token is most difficult for women and racial minorities, according to a review of research over the past quarter century. In some cases, being a token may even help men.

“It’s hard being the only one, or one of a few. It tends to be even more difficult for women and racial minorities to be tokens, compared to men and white workers,” said Marla Baskerville Watkins of Northeastern University.

Watkins, and coauthors Aneika Simmons of Sam Houston State University and Elizabeth Umphress of the University of Washington, analyzed 80 studies about token employees between 1991 and 2016, for their Academy of Management Perspectives article, “It’s Not Black and White: Toward a Contingency Perspective on the Consequences of Being a Token.”

Continue reading the original article at Fast Company

Read the original research in Academy of Management Perspectives

Read the Insights summary: Being a Token is More Difficult for Some Employees


Learn more about the AOM Scholars and explore their work:

Marla Baskerville Watkins

Aneika Simmons

Elizabeth Umphress