Unlocking the Power of DEI: Building Better Programs for Business and People

diversity equity and inclusion

By Helen Young Hayes

Helen Young Hayes shared how Diversity and inclusion programs have moved into the mainstream. According to the global management consulting firm McKinsey & Co., some $8 billion is spent annually on diversity training in the U.S., and positions dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) have quadrupled in the past five years. Unfortunately, these efforts have not always resulted in measurable improvements in diversity. Why do DEI programs fail to deliver? Why invest in DEI in the first place? And how can we build better programs to work for business and people?

What DEI gets wrong

Extensive research, including studies by Harvard and McKinsey, reveals that common DEI tactics — like mandatory diversity training, processes prohibiting discrimination, and a one-and-done mentality — don’t deliver lasting change, and can even backfire, resulting in increased inequity. Changing mindsets and behavior is hard.

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