Release Date: June 23, 2020
BUFFALO, N.Y. — How does diversity among police officers and the community they serve affect arrest rates? Does diversity training in organizations really work?
These are questions Kate Bezrukova, PhD, can answer.
Bezrukova is an associate professor of organization and human resources in the University at Buffalo School of Management and an expert on managing a diverse workforce, unconscious bias in the workplace, and team chemistry.
In one study, she found that while workplace diversity training programs can effectively educate people on cultural differences, they are less effective at changing attitudes and behaviors. To truly move the needle on inclusion, Bezrukova found, training must be part of a wider strategic focus on equity and diversity.
More recently, Bezrukova examined national criminology data to determine how arrest rates were affected by diversity in the police force and community. Her findings showed the African American arrest rate was lowest in racially diverse communities with diverse police, and higher when the police and community were more homogenous.
“It seems undeniable that the makeup of police and the community they serve, taken together, are associated with real — and pretty dramatic — differences in arrest patterns between cities,” Bezrukova wrote in Psychology Today.
In addition to her research on policing and diversity training, Bezrukova has studied how team chemistry and fault lines — characteristics that divide members of a group — affect team success everywhere from the workplace to professional sports to deep space exploration.
Bezrukova is available for interviews. The best way to reach her is through the UB School of Management communications team at firstname.lastname@example.org and 716-645-5455.