Considering Intergroup Emotions to Improve Diversity and Inclusion in
While the geosciences are interdisciplinary in nature, they are not
demographically diverse, which challenges the future viability and
relevance of the geosciences. Causes and potential solutions for this
deficiency have been proposed for several decades, but diversity within
the geosciences has barely changed in that time. Dominant cultural,
historical, and socioeconomic factors contribute to the lack of
diversity and those factors only change slowly over generations.
Solutions proposed for more immediate changes have been ineffective.
Providing specific emotional support to those who are systemically
non-dominant (SND) will be more impactful in improving diversity and
inclusion within the geosciences. Specifically, we focus on intergroup
emotions, which can be pleasant or unpleasant emotions that individuals
feel due to their identification with one or more social groups. Using
the Intergroup Emotions Theory, we argue that diversity and inclusion
can be improved by helping those who are SND minimize undesirable
emotions that arise when their group memberships are perceived to be
negative. We end by making recommendations based on available research,
yet we strongly call on the geoscience community to conduct further
discipline-based research in this crucial area in the near future.