Shreveport, LA—LSUS Assistant Professor Dr. Jia Yu joined researchers from University of Houston and University of Sheffield to conduct a study that analyzed data from 13,750 job applications for 156 faculty positions at a large US research university. 

“Search committee diversity and applicant pool representation of women and underrepresented minorities: A quasi-experimental field study” was recently published by the Journal of Applied Psychology,  which focuses on the publication of original investigations that contribute new knowledge and understanding to fields of applied psychology (other than clinical and applied experimental or human factors, which are more appropriate for other APA journals) (View the publication here.). 

“It’s so exciting to publish our research in such a high-impact prestigious journal,” Dr. Yu said. “We believe that people will be inspired by our significant findings, which not only advance our understanding of the related fields but, more importantly, also offer practical hiring methods to practitioners who are willing to promote workforce diversity.” 

Dr. Yu’s research determined that the fastest way to increase diversity in hiring is to make some basic but significant decisions on how job searches are conducted—especially who conducts the search. Whenever a woman was in charge, 23% more women applied. If the search was led by a person of color, applications from Black, Latinx, Pacific Islander, Alaskan Native, and Native American candidates more than doubled. The study authors emphasized the importance of going outside established recruitment networks. 

“Initiating change is not easy,” Dr Yu said. “Sometimes a simple change can make a big difference. I am striving to shed some light on the related fields and make a meaningful impact on people, organizations, and our society through my research.” 

Dr. Yu is an Assistant Professor of Management for the LSUS Department of Management and Marketing. To schedule an interview, contact Wendell Riley at or 318-797-5108. 

About “Search committee diversity and applicant pool representation of women and underrepresented minorities: A quasi-experimental field study” 

The diversification of applicant pools constitutes an important step for broadening the participation of women and underrepresented minorities (URMs) in the workforce. The current study focuses on recruiting diverse applicant pools in an academic setting. We test strategies grounded in homophily theory to attract a diverse set of applicants for open faculty positions. Analysis of recruitment data (13,750 job applications) showed that women search committee chairs and greater percentages of women on search committees related to more women applicants and that URMs search chairs and a greater percentage of URM members on search committees related to more URM applicants, resulting in 23% more women applicant pools with a woman chair and over 100% more URM applicants for a URM chair. Furthermore, women and URMs actively engage in ways to reach out to a more diverse set of applicants, whereas men and non-URMs’ behavior maintains the status quo. We discuss the implications and advancement of homophily theory that can ultimately increase the representation of women and URM in the workforce. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved) 

About LSUS 

Founded in 1967, Louisiana State University Shreveport offers a wide array of nationally accredited undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including a doctoral degree. The university’s mission is to educate a diverse population of graduate and undergraduate students; engage in regional and global thought leadership through community collaboration and service; and innovate to enhance the application of knowledge and intellectual discovery through faculty and student research and creative endeavors.