Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Jessica L. Wildman

Second Advisor

Patrick D. Converse

Third Advisor

Emily Martinez-Vogt

Fourth Advisor

Robert A. Taylor


As color-blindness, the intentional denial of racial differences, continues to occupy corporate policy, expressions and consequences of modern racism in the workplace remain pervasive. Color-blind attitudes can be harmful due to their focus on perceived equality, at the expense of actionable, functional equity. Establishing a culture of racial equity in the workplace requires an understanding of how the language used to discuss race can impact potential applicants’ opinions of the company. To attract a diverse pool of job applicants, the language of recruitment is of particular importance in the current study. Using a vignette-style survey design, a diverse sample of employed American adults viewed two mock job advertisements reflecting two language conditions (LCs): color-blind language (CBL) or functional equity language (FEL) respectively. Applicant measures of organizational attraction (OA) and perceived organizational support (POS) were collected, as were measures of individual racial saliency (RIC) and racial minority status (RMS). It was hypothesized that racial minority status, identity centrality, and recruitment language interact such that minority, high- centrality applicants will report the highest POS and OA under the functional equity language condition, whereas majority, high-centrality applicants will report the highest POS and OA under the color-blind language condition. However, a factorial ANOVA examining all interactions yielded no significant findings, likely due to a lack of power, despite the patterns of scores generally following the hypothesized logic. RIC was found to have a main effect on POS and OA, and RMS had a main effect on OA.