Effects of Gender and Ethnicity on Workplace Charitable Giving

Study by:
Lisa M. Leslie - University of Florida
Mark Snyder - University of Minnesota
Theresa M. Glomb - University of Minnesota
Charitable giving is an important aspect of corporate social responsibility. In this research, we examine the role of gender and ethnic differences in charitable giving in the workplace. Although research on diversity in organizations has explored the implications of gender and ethnic differences for performance, other important outcomes such as charitable giving have yet to be examined. We propose that gender and ethnic differences have implications for workplace charitable giving. Drawing from social role theory, we hypothesize and find, in a study of charitable giving in the workplace at a large public university, that gender has consistent effects across levels of analysis; women donate more money to workplace charity than men and the percentage of women in a work unit is positively related to workplace charity, at least among men Alternatively, and consistent with social exchange theory, we hypothesize and find that ethnicity has opposing effects at the individual and work unit levels of analysis; ethnic minorities donate less money to workplace charity than Whites, but work unit percent minority is positively related to workplace charity, particularly among minorities. The findings provide a novel perspective on the consequences of gender and ethnic diversity in organizations and highlight synergies between organizational efforts to increase diversity and to build a reputation for corporate social responsibility.
A report of this research is “in press” at the Journal of Applied Psychology.
This research project has been supported by the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management and its Center for the Study of the Individual and Society. The principal investigators for this project are Lisa M. Leslie and Theresa M. Glomb (Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota) and Mark Snyder (Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota).