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Promoting Diversity and Inclusion through Engagement: The APSA 2018 Hackathon

  • Mala Htun (a1)

Abstract

Organizations—from academic and professional associations to private corporations and police forces—face challenges promoting diversity and inclusion among their workers and affiliates. Instead of training and regulations, recent research recommends mechanisms that engage managers and leaders in activities that involve behavioral changes. This article describes how we put the managerial engagement approach into practice by organizing a “Diversity and Inclusion Hackathon” at the 2018 annual meeting of the American Political Science Association. With 11 teams focused on a range of topics, the hackathon attracted more than 200 people and produced multiple outputs. It engaged scholars from a range of backgrounds, social identities, institutions, ranks, and beliefs in the generation of new norms, programmatic ideas, and plans for the profession. Although we cannot infer causality, analysis of the APSA Annual Meeting evaluation survey reveals that hackathon participants are significantly more likely to express positive perceptions of the conference.

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