What Most People Get Wrong About Diversity & DEI

Ever since the Supreme Court overturned the use of affirmative action in college admissions earlier this year, organizations have been abandoning their DEI programs and Chief Diversity Officers at an alarming rate. Is this because they’re concerned about future legal challenges from anti-affirmative action groups? Is it because they really weren’t committed to diversity? Is it because they positioned diversity and DEI programs so narrowly that they couldn’t be successful? I believe it’s a little bit of all, but mostly because of how diversity and DEI has been positioned.

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Utilizing an Evidence-Based DEI Strategy

The most frequent arguments against DEI initiatives are focused around competence and merit. On competence, they argue that a less competent person is receiving an opportunity because they are from a historically disenfranchised group. In actuality, less competent people have been receiving opportunities because they were from the majority population and/or had a relationship that provided them an unfair advantage for decades.

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Advancing Your DEI Initiatives With Data

Implementing a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) program requires an organization-wide cultural change. This change needs to start from the top and permeate throughout every level. Some of the areas impacted by the change include promotions, assignments, hiring practices and resources planning. Additionally, individual managers will need to change the way they select or recommend people for an opportunity as well as embrace new processes while selecting from a broader pool of qualified candidates.

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