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by New York Times Opinion
The Argument

Are Workplace Diversity Programs Doing More Harm Than Good?


It’s time to rethink what’s working in the modern workplace and what’s failing. Amid a pandemic that overturned how so many work, increased calls for racial and social justice put a new pressure on companies to ensure — or at least to seem as if they ensure — equality among their employees. Diversity, equity and inclusion (D.E.I.) programs are an increasingly popular solution deployed by management. But do these initiatives do marginalized employees any good? And who are the true beneficiaries of diversity programs, anyway?

Jane Coaston has spent years on the receiving end of diversity initiatives, and for that reason, she’s skeptical. To debate D.E.I. programs’ efficacy, she brought together Dr. Sonia Kang, the Canada Research Chair in Identity, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Toronto, and Lily Zheng, a D.E.I. strategy consultant and public speaker, to argue what works and doesn’t when it comes to making workplaces fair for all.

Mentioned in this episode:

Sonia Kang’s podcast, “For the Love of Work,” episode “Leaning Into Diversity, Equity and Belonging

Lily Zheng, Harvard Business Review, “How to Show White Men That Diversity and Inclusion Efforts Need Them

Kim Tran, Harper’s Bazaar, “The Diversity and Inclusion Industry Has Lost Its Way

Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev “Why Diversity Programs Fail

The Washington Post, “To improve diversity, don’t make people go to diversity training. Really.



by New York Times Opinion