Eliminating discrimination in hiring isn’t enough

Firms interested in workplace diversity should consider the post-hiring stage and why some minority employees choose to leave

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

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Elevator pitch

While many firms have recognized the importance of recruiting and hiring diverse job applicants, they should also pay attention to the challenges newly hired diverse candidates may face after entering the company. It is possible that they are being assessed by unequal or unequitable standards compared to their colleagues, and they may not have sufficient access to opportunities and resources that would benefit them. These disparities could affect the career trajectory, performance, satisfaction, and retention of minority employees. Potential solutions include randomizing task assignments and creating inclusive networking and support opportunities.

Differences in perceptions of work
                        climate, 2018

Key findings


When employers have more information about each worker’s past performance, they are more likely to give women proper credit for their contributions to group tasks.

Well-specified rubrics can reduce the bias that arises from subjective evaluations.

Employers can randomly assign mundane tasks to employees so that no one is favored.

Employers can pay attention to how inclusive their networking events are and create affinity groups to make minority workers feel included.


Women may be given less credit for group work than men when it is unclear what each person contributed, which could affect their chances of being promoted.

When subjective ratings are used, biased employers may not weigh objective measures of performance the same for black and white employees.

Women are more likely to be asked to complete mundane tasks than men.

Minority workers may not have the same networking opportunities that nonminority workers do, which could affect their earnings and career trajectories.

Author's main message

Employers risk the possibility of negating any benefits from policies introduced to hire diverse employees if they ignore the challenges that these individuals encounter after joining the company. Firms should be conscious of existing policies and traditions that provide advantages for some but not all employees. Promoting affinity groups and paying careful attention to what tasks minorities are assigned to can help improve the work environment for minority employees and should be strongly considered by any employer with a diverse workplace that wants to retain and support minority employees.

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