Increasing Workplace Diversity: Evidence from a Recruiting Experiment at a Fortune 500 Company

Jeffrey A. Flory, Andreas Leibbrandt, Christina Rott, Olga Stoddard*

*Corresponding author for this work

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While many firms have set ambitious goals to increase diversity in their ranks, there is a dearth of empirical evidence on effective ways to reach them. We use a natural field experiment to test several hypotheses on effective meansto attract minority candidates for top professional careers. By randomly varying the content in recruiting materials of a major financial services corporation with more than 10,000 employees, we find that signaling explicit interest in employee diversity more than doubles the interest in openings among racial minority candidates, as well as the likelihood that they apply and are selected. Impacts on gender diversity are less sharp and generally not significant

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-92
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Human Resources
Issue number1
Early online date6 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Jeffrey A. Flory is Associate Professor of Economics at Claremont McKenna College. Andreas Leibbrandt is Professor of Economics at Monash University. Christina Rott is Assistant Professor of Economics at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Olga Stoddard is Assistant Professor of Economics at Brigham Young University ( The authors thank Rebecca Jack for excellent research assistance and gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Bias Interrupters Working Group. The authors also thank participants of SOCCAM, ESA AFE, IMEBESS, and Science of Diversity and Inclusion Initiative (SODI) conferences, as well as seminars at University of California (San Diego), Brigham Young University, Claremont McKenna College, University of Melbourne, Maastricht University, Amsterdam Business School, Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam, and Tilburg University for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of the paper. The authors are listed in alphabetic order. The authors declare that they have no relevant or material financial interests that relate to the research described in this paper. Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval was obtained to conduct this research involving the collection of data on human subjects. The data are available at

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the Board of Regents of the University ofWisconsin System

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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