The impact of the workshop activity for gender equity simulation in the Academy (WAGES-Academic) in demonstrating cumulative effects of gender bias

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We report experimental evaluation of the Workshop Activity for Gender Equity Simulation in the Academy (WAGES-Academic), a brief, experiential simulation of the cumulative effects of unconscious bias in the academic workplace. We predicted that participants who played WAGES-Academic would demonstrate significantly increased knowledge and retention of gender equity issues in the academic workplace compared with participants in a control condition. Baseline information on general knowledge of workplace gender equity issues was obtained from 1,254 undergraduates. In the second phase, 144 were randomly assigned to complete either WAGES-Academic or a control task, and the immediate effects of the activities were measured. Participants were contacted 7-11 days later to complete an online measure of knowledge retention. Compared with a control condition, WAGES-Academic increased knowledge and retention. This effect occurred irrespective of prior level of sexist beliefs, participant gender, or whether the participant had been on the advantaged or disadvantaged team. Potential use and testing of WAGES-Academic with university faculty and administrators are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-129
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Diversity in Higher Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education

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