Degree Name





Marriott School of Management

Defense Date


Publication Date


First Faculty Advisor

Taeya Howell

First Faculty Reader

McKenzie Rees

Honors Coordinator

Mark Hansen


empathy, disparity, racial discrimination, discrimination, workplace


Extensive research has been done on racial disparities in the workplace and the racial biases and discrimination that causes and contributes to said disparities. This research explores the existence of and causes for a racial empathy gap in the workplace, focusing on empathy between peers. An experimental study was conducted with a sample of 451 people in the United States and the United Kingdom. Using a scenario experiment, I manipulated the gender and race (randomized between male or female and Black or White) of a co-worker who had a negative event occur in their life. The study showed that there was a significant difference in the state empathy and perspective taking for Black and White protagonists, but results did not support the original hypothesis that Black targets would receive less empathy than White targets. Both state empathy and emotional rating showed no significant difference between targets of different races. Contrary to my hypothesis, perspective taking was engaged in the lowest with While male targets.