Dr. Danielle Dickens is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Spelman College. Dr. Dickens earned her BA degree in psychology from Spelman College and her MS and PhD from Colorado State University in applied social and health psychology. As a Black feminist social psychologist, she leads a research program that uses quantitative and qualitative methodologies to examine stereotypes, discrimination, and intersections of race, gender, class, and age in the US with an emphasis on Black women in the workplace, higher education, and STEM. Particularly, she is an expert in understanding how Black women’s experiences of discrimination result in a coping strategy known as identity shifting—the conscious or unconscious process of altering one’s speech, behaviors, appearance, and perspective to mitigate negative outcomes associated with discrimination. She has received grant funding from the American Psychological Foundation, UNCF (the United Negro College Fund), and the National Science Foundation. In 2019, she received the American Psychological Association (APA) Teaching of Psychology of Women Award and the 2020 APA Psychology of Black Women Foremothers Mentorship Early Career Award. In all, her teaching and research aim to contextually position and understand the lived experiences of Black women in the US, identify effective strategies to reduce inequalities, and improve their career development and mental and behavioral health outcomes.
Research Proposal Summary
Although research has explored women’s barriers to negotiating salaries, few studies have explored how Black women navigate these experiences. Dr. Dickens’s proposed research plan, which consists of a focus group and experimental study, will use the intersectionality theory to investigate factors that contribute to divergent outcomes associated with Black women’s salary negotiation. She will conduct focus groups to explore Black women’s perceptions of negotiating their salaries and use data from the focus groups in a follow-up study to examine differences in the likelihood that Black women will negotiate their salaries based on the interviewer’s race and gender. By exploring barriers to Black women negotiating their salaries, her research will contribute to a growing body of theoretical work in this area and help prepare Black women to lead successful conversations around this topic. Her research will also inform future research, community practice, and legislation to close earnings and wealth gaps for Black women.