The challenge of increasing minority-group professional representation in the United States: intriguing findings

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Lenora Billings-Harris (Creator)
Eleanor "Holly" Buttner, Professor (Creator)
Kevin B. Lowe, Professor and Department Head (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Census statistics highlight the increasing diversity of the populace in the United States. However, minority-group Americans continue to be under-represented in professional occupations. Six propositions for low minority-group professional presence in US organizations are that under-representation is due to leader racial insensitivity, discrimination, the (small) pipeline of minority-group professional employees, (un)equal opportunity theory, rational person economic theory, and low organizational diversity strategic priority. We describe and explore these six arguments with related empirical tests. Results indicated that leader-rated importance of cultural change, above and beyond leader racial awareness, influenced representation. The more specific strategies of diversity recruitment and provision of performance feedback also predicted minority-group representation, while diversity as an organizational strategic priority did not. We discuss the implications of these findings and present directions for future research.

Additional Information

The International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 20, No. 4, April 2009, 771–789.
Language: English
Date: 2009
diversity, equal opportunity, minority shortage, professional employees

Email this document to