Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why should we care about diversity?

A: Quite simply, diversity powers innovations superior to those of homogenous groups (Page 2007). Moreover, diversity improves decision-making. For example, racial diversity on juries leads to more impartial group decision making (Sommers 2006). Diversity on teams leads to consideration of a greater scope of ideas. For example, in a study asking engineering students to list the five categories most important to design a playground, women and men prioritized different aspects of the design. This statistically significant outcome demonstrates diversity enlarges the breadth and applications of designs (Kilgore et al. 2007).

Q: Who is the intended audience for this film?

A: Even though this film is set within a research-intensive Computer Science department, the scenario is based on ethnographic research from interviews with faculty members in a wide variety of departments. It is therefore intended to be used in all disciplines within the academy. It can also be used with faculty who are evaluating colleagues for promotion and tenure cases or student applications.

Q: It’s hard enough to get majority candidates to apply, how can we get underrepresented groups to apply?

A: There are many steps required to improve an organization’s chances for making a diverse hire. Please see the “Best Practices” section. Additionally, handouts of this information are available here.

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