This study explores the use of online toxic communication and how it impacts perceptions of DEI in the accounting academic community. During a recent job market season, we observed the use of toxic communication, including racism, sexism, and hate speech, in the form of anonymous posts made to two online job market forums. Using qualitative methods, including analysis of the online forums and a survey of job market participants, we find that forum language implies that unqualified candidates receive preferential treatment in the job market based on their race or gender, often referring to these individuals as “diversity hires.” Forum language also states that candidates from historically marginalized communities face discrimination in this process. Importantly, we find that toxic communication negatively impacts candidates’ views of DEI within the accounting academy. Overall, this study serves as a call to action to leadership to identify and denounce toxic communication within our community.

JEL Classifications: M40; M49.

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