Psychology, Professional

Date of Paper/Work

Fall 9-14-2022

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Bryana French, Rama Hart, Jacob Finn


This study explored the experiences of adult African American employees working within organizations implementing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives. Qualitative research (three 90-minute) focus groups were held for a total of 18 participants, ages ranging between 24 and 60-years-old. Participants worked in the healthcare, education, wealth management, telecommunications, banking, government, social services, corporate, and non-profit settings. Five participants represented frontline worker positions while others ranged from middle-management or supervisor to executive leadership roles. A phenomenological approach to data analysis was performed using both a priori and thematic coding, which produced eight major themes (i.e.,. Power, Safety, Adjustment, Compensation, Money, Empathy, Frustration, and Marginalization). Analysis revealed that Black employees experience not feeling safe, marginalization, lack of power, and engage in adjustment behavior that has consequences on their overall health despite organization DEI initiatives. The study discusses implications for African American employees and organizations as well as insights for future research.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.