The Performance of Gender Diverse Teams: What Is the Relation between Diversity Attitudes and Degree of Diversity?

Research paper by Jakob Lauring, Florence Villesèche

Indexed on: 22 Dec '17Published on: 15 Dec '17Published in: European Management Review


While gender diversity is slowly becoming an expected characteristic of teams, both academics and practitioners still need to better understand the relation between contextual characteristics and team composition for the performance of gender diverse teams. In this article, we investigate the relationship between diversity attitudes and the performance of gender diverse teams, and further, we show how numerical team gender composition is a key link in this relationship. Based on survey responses from 1,085 academic team leaders, we show that openness to diversity is strongly associated with team performance. We also find a moderating effect of the degree of gender diversity, so that the effect of openness to diversity, as positive team level diversity attitudes, is stronger when team gender composition converges towards numerical balance. These findings bridge critical mass theory and diversity and performance scholarship by establishing the joint effect of compositional and contextual characteristics on the performance of gender diverse teams.