Stereotype Threat at Work (Task Difficulty (progress is not smooth, Why is…
Stereotype Threat at Work
progress is not smooth
Why is this so hard? Is this job just impossible?
Am I not working hard enough?
Am I having a bad day?
Will they think I’m not working hard enough?
Will they think the stereotype is true? It’s going to look like the stereotype is true
require concentration and focus
all of one’s cognitive/mental resources must be directed toward accomplishing the work
difficult, complex, and challenging tasks are where stereotype threat is most likely to occur
tasks that are new and unfamiliar to the person performing them may be more at risk for stereotype threat than routine, familiar ones
Personal Task Investment
how important doing well on the task is to the individual’s self esteem and identity
skill is a part of how they define themselves
people who are personally invested in the task would be most influenced by stereotype threat because they are the ones who really care about their performance
those invested in the task are more negatively affected by stereotype threat than those without such personal task investment
the most capable members of stereotyped groups tend to be the most adversely affected in their performance by stereotype threat
the employees who care about their work and really want to do well are generally the ones that a manager is least likely to worry about since they are the ones he or she thinks will succeed on their own, and thus don’t need coaxing, coaching, or extra attention
these are the people most likely to be affected by stereotype threat, and therefore, most in need of a manager’s efforts to address and reduce it
stereotype threat only occurs when the stereotype seems relevant to performing the task
those in the majority are more likely to view tokens in terms of their distinguishing characteristic
the numerical differences reinforce the relevance of the stereotype for performance in the setting
group representation can raise the relevance of the stereotype for performance
Work situations involving lone members of a social or demographic group are common
When stereotype threat occurs, performance is disrupted
If you can’t trust your manager, monitoring the performance of your peers might yield more credible information with which to assess your performance
Interrupting the Stereotype Threat Process
Strategies for Reducing Stereotype Threat
Provide a Successful Task Strategy
Reduce the Stereotype Relevance of the Task
Provide an Alternative Explanation for Task Difficulty
Change the Context
Implications for Diversity Management
Acknowledge stereotypes and address them directly
Shift the focus from the manager to the environment.