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Three questions to Kevin CARILLO and Alain KLARSFELD

08 April 2022 School

 "The more a company promotes diversity, the more its employees get involved"


Kevin CARILLO and Alain KLARSFELD, professors at TBS Education, show, through their research with Gaëlle CACHAT-ROSSET, from Laval University in Quebec, the positive impact of diversity policies on the average performance of employees.


You have studied the impact of diversity policies on the perceptions of employees in different organizations, whether or not they belong to historically dominant categories. What is your assessment ?


Our research focuses on the way in which diversity policies are perceived by all employees, perceptions that management researchers synthesize through an indicator, the diversity climate. We have measured this diversity climate in different establishments belonging to large organizations, by questioning employees on their perception of their managers' intentions on these issues, on the concrete programs implemented to promote diversity, and more generally on the attitudes and behaviors of their colleagues towards difference, in the broadest sense of the term. Then we evaluated the impact of these perceptions on employees' job satisfaction, their involvement, their sense of belonging, their identification with their organization, and finally, their individual performance. We show that the more employees perceive that their company promotes diversity in its words and actions, the more they feel included in the collective, and therefore the more they identify with their organization. We also show that they are more satisfied and more involved with their organization, which has a positive impact on their performance. In addition, employees who feel they are part of a more diverse organization are more adaptable and proactive.


What surprised you the most ?

It is the fact that a good diversity climate has more positive consequences, in terms of identification with the organization and a feeling of inclusion, for men than for women. This should put into perspective the argument that historically advantaged categories are resistant to diversity policies.


However, certain categories of population, traditionally advantaged in companies, complain about inclusive HR policies...


The categories that have historically been over-represented at the top of the hierarchy - healthy men of European origin, aged 30 to 60 - may see their interests threatened by companies' diversity policies, whose stated objective is to promote people from other categories. In concrete terms, some men may fear, for example, that they will miss out on a promotion as a result of the implementation of these policies. One male executive in a large company told us that he had seen the position he wanted slip through his fingers because, in his view, management supported promotions for women. He was frustrated by this. In such a context, employees of this type are very tempted to question the validity of opening up the company to profiles other than their own, not out of frustration, but in the name of performance...



Interview by Lys ZOHIN - Entreprise & Carrières

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