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Does diversity training work?

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Henry Craver's picture
Small Business Owner Self-employed

As a small business owner, I'm always trying to find ways to cut costs and boost the dependability of my services. To that end, I've become increasingly invested in learning about energy saving...

  • Member since 2018
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  • Aug 12, 2021
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Over the past year, the diversity training business has boomed. According to a report released by GlassDoor.com, diversity officer job postings were up 54% in November 2020 compared to pre-pandemic. I think this fresh appetite for diversity officers and their services is indicative of something good: Companies want their employees to feel comfortable at work regardless of their ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. The bad news, I learned after a bit of research, is that diversity training does little if anything at all to promote such a workplace environment. 

This 2019 article in the Harvard Business Review does a good job laying out the problems associated with diversity training, while suggesting some ways to get desired results. Specifically, the article’s authors recommend hiring a more diverse set of people to begin with, and then working to promote their success within the company. They also urge employers to measure the effectiveness of diversity training and other related efforts, so as to not waste more time and money on things that don’t work. 

I’m no expert on this topic, but I’ve done a fair deal of reading over the past year and I’ve come to one conclusion: There don’t seem to be any easy answers or silver bullets here. I’d love to hear about the relevant experiences of members here at EE. Any insights?

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