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Signals from On High and the Power of “Growth Mindset”: A Field Experiment in Workplace Diversity

Last registered on February 03, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Signals from On High and the Power of “Growth Mindset”: A Field Experiment in Workplace Diversity
Initial registration date
November 26, 2019

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
November 27, 2019, 10:45 AM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
February 03, 2022, 10:53 PM EST

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator

Brigham Young University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Monash University
PI Affiliation
Claremont Mckenna Univresity
PI Affiliation
Vriej University Amsterdam

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
White males occupy most high-profile positions in the largest U.S. corporations. Many firms have set ambitious goals to increase demographic diversity among employees, but there is a dearth of empirical evidence on effective ways to do so. We run a large field experiment with a Fortune 500 company of over 15,000 employees to test several approaches suggested by the literature. By randomly varying a small portion of the content in recruiting materials seen by over 6,000 prospective applicants in two different populations at different stages in their career progress, we test different types of signals aimed to increase interest from racial minorities and women.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Flory, Jeffrey et al. 2022. "Signals from On High and the Power of “Growth Mindset”: A Field Experiment in Workplace Diversity." AEA RCT Registry. February 03.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Interested in position, applied to position, how far individuals advanced in interview process, whether they were hired
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
To deepen our understanding of how employers can effectively attract women and ethnic minorities into high-profile career tracks, we embed a natural field experiment in the annual recruiting drive of one of the largest global firms in the financial services industry. We randomize a small part of the information content that individuals see prior to applying. In particular, we vary how the employer presents itself to prospective applicants in terms of whether it values diversity among its employees, and how this value is conveyed. We also intentionally design the experiment to sample from two different populations that face different constraints and stakes due to the differing stages in their career progress (internship-seekers and entry level job-seekers). This enables us to test predictions on heterogeneous effects by career stage and help shed light on the drivers of impacts.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done by Qualtrics' randomization method in survey design
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
5500 prospective job applications
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
We plan to have approximately 600 individuals in each of the eight treatments ( diversity, diversity - supported, CEO statement, CEO statement - supported, team, team - supported, team -seeking, growth mindset)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Based on our prior work and a related experiment, we estimate the minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes to be 300.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
The Institutional Review Board of Claremont McKenna College
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Intervention Completion Date
November 11, 2018, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Data Collection Completion Date
January 11, 2019, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

We conduct a large-scale natural field experiment with a Fortune 500 company to test several light-touch approaches to attract minorities to high-profile positions. A total of 5,000 prospective applicants were randomized into treatments that vary a small portion of recruiting materials. We find that self-selection at two early-career stages exhibits a substantial race gap. We then show that this gap can be strongly influenced by several treatments, with some closing the race gap and increasing application rates of minorities by 40% and others being particularly effective for minority women. These effects are not accompanied by any declines in application rates of majority group job seekers. In addition, we do not find that endorsing the “business case” for diversity reduces the race gap or raises application rates by minorities or women. The heterogeneities we find by gender, race, and career stage shed light on the underlying drivers of self-selection barriers among minorities.
Jeffrey A. Flory, Andreas Leibbrandt, Christina Rott, Olga Stoddard (2023) Leader Signals and “Growth Mindset”: A Natural Field Experiment in Attracting Minorities to High-Profile Positions. Management Science 0(0).

Reports & Other Materials