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Dr. Sigrid Luhr publishes “We’re Better than Most: Diversity Discourse in the San Francisco Bay Area Tech Industry,” in Social Problems!

Dr. Sigrid Luhr has published a new article titled, "We're Better than Most: Diversity Discourse in the San Francisco Bay Area Tech Industry," in Social Problems. Great work, Dr. Luhr!


Despite recent efforts to diversify their workplaces, tech companies remain predominantly White, Asian, and male—drawing on in-depth interviews with 50 tech workers in the San Francisco Bay Area, this article examines how these workers think about the term “diversity” with respect to their own companies. While previous research on diversity within organizations largely centers on Human Resource professionals or policy makers, this article unpacks how workers themselves define and discuss diversity. Although most respondents acknowledged a “diversity problem” in the tech industry, they saw their own companies as “better than most.” They made this claim by 1) drawing relative comparisons with other tech companies; 2) citing evidence of efforts their companies were making to increase diversity; and 3) using expansive definitions of the term “diversity.” Yet perceiving their companies as “better than most” may breed a kind of complacency where workers consider their companies “above average” on diversity when they look similar to other companies. These interviews provide evidence that the diversity initiatives at tech companies – while not necessarily effective in reducing racial or gender inequality – are effective in convincing some workers that their companies are diverse. This article provides insight into why efforts to increase diversity within organizations may stall.