Can Diversity Improve Equity? Achieving Racial Parity in Leader Assessment of Minority Team Members

Publication Date


Grant Type

Early Career Research Award


It has become increasingly clear that racial and cultural differences can lead to inequities in a variety of contexts. For example, white police officers escalate force faster in minority neighborhoods (Hoekstra and Sloan, 2022). Researchers also find racial biases in judges and juries (Arnold et al., 2018; Shayo and Zussman, 2011; Flanagan, 2018). As with other work environments, the U.S. Army has apparent inequities in performance ratings and promotions for minority soldiers. Black Army non-commissioned officers (NCOs) under the command of white officers are 20% less likely to receive the highest performance rating and 30% more likely to receive the worst. Can early-career diversity for the officer affect this disparity? Our preliminary results suggest yes, especially in restoring parity in the most negative performance rating.