Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Sociology

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, 58 pages)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Christine Bose

Committee Members

Karyn Loscocco, Glenna Spitze


Dinversity, Inclusion, Intersectionality, LGBTQ, Perceptions, Race, Diversity in the workplace, Employee retention, Job satisfaction, Quality of work life, Corporate culture

Subject Categories

Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Sociology | Women's Studies


There is a difference between diversity and inclusion in the workforce. More specifically, there is a difference in the understanding and experience that the U.S. cultural meaning of these words creates when interpreted and applied in a workplace setting. Understanding this difference is essential to the work businesses do in actualizing human capital as well as in creating and interpreting methods of providing access, recognizing diversity, and now, increasingly, moving towards a rhetoric of inclusion in the workplace (Roberson, 2006). This research looks at the existing body of knowledge around historical disenfranchisement and the evolution of diversity and inclusion research in the workplace. This literature is then used to analyze the data collected from employees who were asked to complete an online self-administered survey across a variety of topics related to their employment experience. These perceptions were then looked at against key indicators of job satisfaction including turnover intention. Overall this research found that: a respondent’s gender identity, ethnic/cultural background, and sexual orientation all had significant impact on their perceptions of diversity and inclusion; that perceptions of inclusion differed from perceptions of diversity in this study; and that perceptions of inclusion were significantly connected to job satisfaction and turnover intentions for all participants. The findings suggest that focusing on inclusion in the workplace, not just diversity, affects all employees and that supervisors play an important role in this experience. Ultimately this study suggests that these factors have high implications for employee retention, especially among historically disenfranchised groups and those at the intersection of identities.