The effects of prodiversity signals on fostering team diversity
Most firms would publicly claim that they support diversity and that they are willing to take practical steps to promote it inside their organizations. Yet little is known about how prodiversity signals impact employee behavior inside firms. To address this issue, we conduct three studies analysing the impact of prodiversity signals on willingness to work in age diverse teams. More particularly, we investigate whether diversity policies as brief statements, some of the most common and cheapest prodiversity signals, affect choosing age diverse teammates and if so, through which processes. Using incentivised and vignette study designs, we reveal that there is a robust positive impact of diversity policies on team age diversity. We find evidence that this positive impact is due to diversity policies highlighting that diversity is desirable, and not due to other behavioural, affective or cognitive changes in participants. Moreover, we investigate whether people, while favouring surface level (i.e. age) diversity as encouraged by the policy, disfavour deep level (i.e. personality) diversity. Taken together, these findings reveal novel evidence on the effects of prodiversity signals with important implications for practice.