Why Diversity Programs Fail (Force-feeding employees diversity training…
Why Diversity Programs Fail
Force-feeding employees diversity training can activate bias instead of mitigate it
Positive effects of diversity training wear off in a day or two
3/4 of firms use negative messaging in training
Too often signal it as remedial
"Trainers tell us that people often respond to compulsory courses with anger and resistance" (p.5).
~40% of companies
It turns out that when white men flunk the test they are still hired
"Decision makers (deliberately or not) cherry-picked results, the testing amplified bias rather than quashed it" (p. 5).
"Raters tend to lowball women and minorities in performance reviews"
Grievance Procedures: "Managers who receive few complaints conclude that their firms don't have a problem" (p.6).
Tools to get managers on board
Engage managers in solving the problem
"When someone's beliefs and behavior are out of sync"
If you prompt people to act in a way that supports a view they will shift toward that view
College recruitment programs for women and minorities
"White male executives don't feel comfortable reaching out informally to young women and minority men. Yet they are eager to mentor assigned proteges, and women and minorities are often first to sign up for mentors" (p.7).
Expose them to different groups
In WW2 it was found that "whites whose companies had been joined by black platoons showed dramatically lower racial animus and greater willingness to work alongside blacks than those whose companies remained segregated " (p. 8).
Working toward common goals as equals
Encourage social accountability
Firms posting each unit's average performance rating and pay raise by race and geneder
"Once managers realized that employees, peers, and superiors would know which parts of the company favored whites, the gap in raises all but disappeared" (p.8).
Corporate diversity task forces
Promote accountability, engage members, and increase contact between groups
"Companies that appoint diversity managers see 7% to 18% increases in all underrepresented groups--except Hispanic men---in management in the following five years" (p. 10).
"We can't motivate people by forcing them to get with the program and punishing them if they don't" (p.10).