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I propose that a field’s diversity is affected by what its members believe is required for success: Fields that value exceptional intellectual talent above all else may inadvertently obstruct the participation of women and (some) minority groups. The environment in these fields may be less welcoming to women and minority groups because of the cultural stereotypes that associate intellectual talent -- brilliance, genius, etc. -- with (white) men. This proposal is supported by observational and experimental data from a wide range of fields in the sciences and the humanities, as well as by developmental data that reveal how early these stereotypes take hold.
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