Promoting Diversity and Inclusion through Engagement: The APSA 2018 Hackathon
By Mala Htun, University of New Mexico
How can organizations advance inclusion and diversity? Instead of training and regulations, recent research recommends mechanisms that engage managers and leaders in activities that involve behavioral changes. This article describes how we put the managerial engagement approach into practice by organizing a Diversity and Inclusion Hackathon at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association. A hackathon involves intense, collaborative work on a problem or question. With 11 teams working on multiple topics including how men can promote gender equality, teaching intersectionality, minimum standards for employing contingent faculty, improving the climate for graduate students, gender citation bias, and more, the hackathon attracted more than 200 participants from multiple backgrounds, social identities, institutions, and ranks in the generation of new norms, ideas, and plans for the profession. The requirement to produce something new bonded participant efforts. Although we cannot infer causality, analysis of the Annual Meeting evaluation survey reveals that hackathon participants are significantly more likely to express positive perceptions of the conference.