The Stereotype Threat to Workplace Diversity: Dr. Claude Steele Mesmerizes Audience: For acclaimed social psychologist Dr. Claude Steele, the numbers just didn’t make sense. Why, he wondered, was the national college dropout rate for Black students 20 to 25 percent higher than that for whites even when those students were just as well-prepared for college, had no socioeconomic disadvantages and managed to get excellent SAT scores? And among those Black students who did finish college, why was their grade-point average consistently lower than white students?
Drawing from his new book, “Whistling Vivaldi,” Steele offered corporate leaders and diversity executives attending a DiversityInc event an insider’s look at his groundbreaking research on stereotypes and identity and the role they play in academic achievement and underachievement among Blacks and women.
“You must read this book,” Luke Visconti, CEO of DiversityInc, told the audience. “You will end up buying boxes of it for your corporation. Make sure your white men get a copy of it. Why do you think the educational resources aren’t there in the inner-city schools? Society believes those children are not capable of learning. Now we are aware of this. Think about mentoring. Think about employee-resource groups and the role [this information] can play in getting people to perform and eliminating bias.”