In our work, we are having many discussions about the value of diversity. There is clearly a belief that diversity is a good thing, but many people don’t know exactly why. So, we wanted to provide you with some new research.
We’re at a time in our nation where there’s much division, anger, and fear. One of the areas of significant debate is the value of racial and ethnic diversity. So, it’s exciting to see this new research in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (114(4):497-515, April 2018) titled, “People in more racially diverse neighborhoods are more prosocial”. See the abstract below. (If you would like to purchase the entire article, please click here).

People in more racially diverse neighborhoods are more prosocial.

Nai, Jared,Narayanan, Jayanth,Hernandez, Ivan,Savani, Krishna
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 114(4), Apr 2018, 497-515
Five studies tested the hypothesis that people living in more diverse neighborhoods would have more inclusive identities, and would thus be more prosocial. Study 1 found that people residing in more racially diverse metropolitan areas were more likely to tweet prosocial concepts in their everyday lives. Study 2 found that following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, people in more racially diverse neighborhoods were more likely to spontaneously offer help to individuals stranded by the bombings. Study 3 found that people living in more ethnically diverse countries were more likely to report having helped a stranger in the past month. Providing evidence of the underlying mechanism, Study 4 found that people living in more racially diverse neighborhoods were more likely to identify with all of humanity, which explained their greater likelihood of having helped a stranger in the past month. Finally, providing causal evidence for the relationship between neighborhood diversity and prosociality, Study 5 found that people asked to imagine that they were living in a more racially diverse neighborhood were more willing to help others in need, and this effect was mediated by a broader identity. The studies identify a novel mechanism through which exposure to diversity can influence people, and document a novel consequence of this mechanism.

(PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)

This research found that when people live in more racially diverse neighborhoods, areas, and countries, they’re more likely to reach out to friends and help them AND to reach out to neighbors and strangers to help them.

People who live in more diverse worlds tend to identify more with all of humanity vs. only with others who are like them.

At a time when teams, departments, and organizations are doing more with less; when it’s increasingly important that people work together effectively and efficiently; and when the stressors of the world are wearing people down, the data suggests that building diversity rather than fearing it is the way to go.

This week try to find a way to make your world just a little more diverse, and see if you can stretch just a little to connect with people who aren’t just like you.

We’re all in this together,

~ Linda, Stephanie, and Heather

If you would like help supporting the diversity within your workplace, contact us today about our Executive Coaching.