Brand Management
The Influence of Diversity Climate on Employer Branding: 2020 and Beyond

Article Details
Pub. Date : Mar, 2021
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Brand Management
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJBRM20321
Author Name : Cassandra Wells, Rubina F Malik, and Vickie Cox Edmondson
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Marketing
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 16



Employer branding of a positive diversity reputation creates the expectation that an organization is a good place to work for traditionally excluded groups. Due to today's racial animus in the US and accompanying beliefs towards Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives (DEI), employees are apt to pay close attention to the messages that leaders in Predominantly White Organizations (PWOs) send to prospective and current employees. Not only are organizations apt to reflect upon their commitment to DEI (Feintzeig, 2020), but employees from traditionally excluded groups may rethink their participation in DEI and their commitment to helping a company build a brand and develop products when their contributions may be questioned. Conservative employees from higher status groups may make demands on their leaders that defy their current DEI practices (Sonnemaker, 2020). The paper examines employer branding of diversity practices in PWOs in the US and contributes to the existing DEI research in two primary ways. First, we outline the problem that using diversity in employer branding poses in PWOs with low diversity climates. Then, we propose a framework that extends our understanding of DEI that can be used by management and human resource professionals to facilitate employer branding.


An important genesis of this work is the recognition that despite the advances made since the Civil Rights era, and decades of research and workplace training on diversity, differences are still salient and divisive in the US, and signs are, things are not getting better. The 2020-2021 racial unrest and anti-racism activism in the US has revealed that the nation as a whole is split on the question of whether racism exists; 50% of Americans say Black Americans face a great deal or much racial discrimination and 50% believe they face a moderate amount, a little, or none at all (Olsen, 2021). However, evidence reveals a clear pro-White leadership bias in the highest levels of management (Marquardt et al., 2018). Te-Ping (2020) reported in the Wall Street Journal that among CEOs of S&P 500 companies, 11% are ethnic minorities. Of that total, 3% are Latino, 3% are Native


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