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Measurement of racism and sexism

17 03 21 Attitudes toward diversity

Are you worried about the prospect of hiring employees who have racist or sexist attitudes?  You should be – there is much evidence that people with these attitudes act badly towards the people they do not respect.  These attitudes are extremely difficult to uncover during interviews, and reference checks tend not to reveal the person’s true attitudes either.

SACS developed a tool to assess “attitudes toward diversity” – the person’s attitudes to people from a different ethnic background from theirs or to women.  We developed a group of questions targeting these issues and administered them to thousands of Australians.  We put the questions through the usual psychological measurement tests and identified questions which worked well.  We also developed norms – measures of how the average Australian answers these questions, so people completing the questions in future could be assessed as to whether they were more or less racist or sexist than the average Australian.

People are often astonished that candidates answer such questions honestly on an online survey.  The simple reason is that they think such attitudes are completely normal, so they just tell the truth.  They tend not to be so honest in interviews because the cues provided by the faces of the interviewers warn them to answer what they believe is a good answer rather than what they really believe to be the case.

We have been offering this assessment as part of our more basic assessment tools for a couple of years now, but as of last week we are now offering this assessment on our premium product, the “Comprehensive Character Assessment”.

Many of our clients have improved the attitudes toward diversity of their workforces by running people through this assessment. Click here to find out how to ensure that the next person you hire has positive attitudes toward diversity.

Andrew Marty
Managing Director
SACS

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