An article by The New York Times recently covered an important issue of facing discriminatory incidents in the workplace. The report focused on Activision Blizzard’s attempts to promote inclusivity after receiving sexual harassment allegations from women working in the company. Apart from the mentioned sexual harassment allegations, the company’s employees claimed that the work environment was toxic and not inclusive towards women and nonbinary people (Browning, 2021). Overall, the article emphasized the organization’s need to improve their anti-discriminatory policy. Industrial and organizational psychology focuses on human behavior in the workplace. To ensure that all workers are treated fairly and are not at a disadvantage, companies must promote inclusivity and anti-discrimination policies. This strategy not only creates a professional environment for the employees, but also increases their productivity, hence benefitting the company.
The news article is evidently linked to the concepts of gender-based discrimination, stereotyping, and group marginalization in the workplace. Furthermore, the discrimination women faced at the company is similar to other harassment incidents reported in many other institutions. Such cases often arise from a negative representation of women’s abilities and work ethic, which is then perpetuated to cause gender pay gaps and toxic industrial environments. As The New York Times article acknowledges the modern marginalization of women in the video game industry, it is critical to understand how this adverse treatment affects one’s work ethic. Hence, the central aim of the paper is to investigate the effects of stereotyping on minorities in the workplace.
Several psychological investigations have highlighted the way negative representation caused employees to perform worse as well. One study by Grilli et al. (2020) explored how exposure to sexism influenced women’s writing skills. Primarily, the researchers identified four job-related areas with increased gender employment gaps, including politics, education, economics, and health (Grilli et al., 2020). The investigators were able to reach their goal through the simulation of two job interviews. The first vignette experiment included 85 women recruited to participate in a selection interview for a male-dominated factory (Grilli et al., 2020, para.10). Three experimental groups read job descriptions with either a sexist, neutral, or benevolent commentary regarding employing women. The participants then had to complete a test and write to a close friend about the experience (Grilli et al., 2020). The study was then replicated to validate the found results.
The researchers found that the women exposed to sexist comments performed worse, with more grammatical and orthographic mistakes being made (Grilli et al., 2020). The study effectively demonstrated the influence of negative stereotyping on women’s performance. This conclusion remains valuable in modern industries, extending to other marginalized groups of people. The findings accentuate the necessity for companies to stop labeling and spreading misinformation on whole unities, as that will decrease the productivity of their employees.
The idea of discrimination affecting one’s work ethic is undoubtedly related to the concept of stereotype threat. According to Freeman (2017), stereotype threat refers to the psychological threat a person experiences through negative stereotyping, which encourages them to make judgments based on general representations of their identity (Freeman, 2017). In the end, one might subconsciously conform to the preconceived ideas formed incorrectly. The phenomenon has been studied concerning various groups of people, based on race, gender, age, and social class. Researchers explain that people prioritize the misconception instead of focusing on the task while faced with a vague misunderstanding. It also generally affects their self-perception, leading to stress and insecurities. In that way, a person’s cognitive abilities are limited by stereotypes.
At the same time, Freeman (2017) notes that stereotype threat is not as influential to individuals with lower self-doubt levels or less exposed to discriminatory behavior (Freeman, 2017). In a study on stereotype threat involving prestigious schools, students did not show significant differences between marginalized and non-marginalized groups; indeed, the self-security prevented the participants from performing worse (Freeman, 2017). Furthermore, this promotes the idea that positive stereotypes could be beneficial for improving work productivity. If companies shared more positive statements about inclusivity, their employees would experience less stress and work more effectively.
Therefore, negative stereotyping complicates inclusivity projects and decreases productivity, creating stressful work environments. The described news article illustrated the ongoing issue of discrimination against women in the video game industry. In addition to negatively portraying groups of people based on common misconceptions, stereotypes can also limit one’s cognitive abilities and thus cause them to perform worse. This is an important finding as it emphasizes the urgency to take action against such instances. If women continue to be seen as weak and incompetent, the gender pay gap will prevail as a social issue despite their true abilities. On the other hand, forwarding positive attributes of working women will motivate female employees and encourage male-dominated fields to be more inclusive. The conclusion may be applicable to discussions about other marginalized groups in the workplace, and the way a change in their attitudes can be beneficial for both themselves and the job environment. Furthermore, the main ideas mentioned are helpful in various areas (politics, economics, education) and around the world since issues of sexism and prejudice are still relevant globally.
Browning, K. (2021). Activision Blizzard commits to improving diversity and workplace culture. The New York Times. Web.
Freeman, L. (2017). Embodied harm: A phenomenological engagement with stereotype threat. Human Studies, 40(4), 637–662. Web.
Grilli, S., Pacilli, M. G., & Roccato, M. 6(2020). Exposure to sexism impairs women’s writing skills even before their evaluation. Sexuality & Culture, 24, 1815-1828. Web.