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Role Models & Allyship

Across several lines of research, we are investigating how role models framed or endorsed as allies, can increase women and women of color's (i.e. Black women) feelings of belonging and trust in STEM environments. For example, in one study we found relative to learning about a non-ally White female scientist, Black women learning about a White female scientist framed as an ally for women of color in the sciences, resulted in increased feelings of anticipated trust and belonging. We have also examined the benefits of allyship among White women. Specifically, in one experiment we found relative to an (unendorsed) White male scientist, White women who learned about a White male scientist endorsed as an ally by his female colleague reported greater trust and belonging. 

Creating more inclusive environments for underrepresented groups

In a new line of research, we are also investigating how to create more inclusive environments for individuals belonging to underrepresented groups (URG) often associated with negative stereotypes - such as women, persons of color, religious minorities, and those identifying with the LGBT+ community. Specifically, we are developing an evidence-based intervention that focuses on teaching individuals concrete steps they can take to signal to those belonging to URGs that their identity is valued. Our intervention is based on social psychological research about how to promote positive intergroup relations and belonging among underrepresented identities, and also informed by individuals belonging to URGs and their perceptions for how to best convey allyship through one's actions. The ultimate goal of this line of research is to ensure those belonging to majority groups actions promote inclusion various environments.

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