Purdue University Graduate School
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I Like What I See: Exploring the Role of Media Format on Benefits of Allyship Among Black Women

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posted on 2019-10-16, 16:16 authored by Virginia L RhodesVirginia L Rhodes
Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) researchers and organizations recognize that a large gender and racial disparity exists in these fields. However, individuals with intersectional identities (i.e., Black women) have unique experiences of bias that preclude them from entering STEM careers and feeling a sense of belonging. As such, featuring an employee that demonstrates allyship for Black women on an organization’s website can be a useful identity-safe cue to signal that a Black woman’s identity will be valued and promote the recruitment of Black women in STEM organizations. Yet, research indicates that Black women who are high in stigma consciousness (i.e., sensitive to potential discrimination based on their identity) do not trust or believe a White woman ally presented in a written profile cares about helping Black women. The current study found that presenting an ally in a video profile mitigated these negative effects of stigma consciousness, and increased Black women’s anticipated belonging and trust in a fictional STEM organization via higher perceptions of allyship. Theoretical implications for research, practical implications for organizations, and future research avenues to explore are discussed.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Psychological Sciences

Campus location

  • Indianapolis

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Evava S. Pietri

Additional Committee Member 2

Leslie Ashburn-Nardo

Additional Committee Member 3

Peggy S. Stockdale