According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado, valuing diversity is frowned upon in Corporate America unless you’re a white man.

The study found that women and people of color were punished when they promoted other women and people of color. 

From Academy of Management:

“Ethnic minority or female leaders who engage in diversity-valuing behavior are penalized with worse performance ratings than their equally diversity-valuing white or male counterparts,” concludes the report by David R. Hekman of the University of Colorado and Maw Der Foo and Wei Yang of the University of Colorado, Boulder.

“Nonwhite and women leaders who engage in diversity-increasing behaviors in the highest organizational ranks are systematically penalized with lower performance ratings for doing so,” the study continues. “Our findings suggest that nonwhite and women leaders may increase their own chances of advancing up the corporate ladder by actually engaging in a very low level of diversity-valuing behavior… By downplaying their race and gender, these leaders may be viewed…as worthy of being promoted into the highest organizational echelons.”

Read more at Academy of Management

White men didn’t appear to suffer in their performance ratings for showing behavior in favor of diversity.

The results may be due to negative stereotypes about women and people of color. Women and non-whites who promote each other fits into the notion that they are more likely to indulge in selfish favoritism.

Even in diversity there is prejudice.

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