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Diversity programs may not be working as intended

Posted at 2:38 PM, Jun 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-28 17:38:31-04

(KERO) — We've seen an increase in diversity, equity, and inclusion programs or DEI over the last two years but they may not all be working as intended.

Research from the Society for Human Resource Management shows 95 percent of workers have been involved in polarizing discussions at work either as a participant or as someone who has witnessed this. Over 40 percent of people say they've even quit their job because their values were stigmatized by colleagues.

"What we're seeing more than anything else is people don't have the tools and especially people managers don't have the tools to really help with that diversity of thought or that diversity of perspective," says Alex Alonso, chief knowledge officer for Society for Human Resource Management.

Alonso says he has seen DEI training be ineffective when it is taught from the perspective of "tolerance." Now he's seeing an increasing number of programs focused on "belonging" instead. "Diversity without Division" is one of those programs.

"We teach everybody how to lower our emotional defenses so that we can both understand where others are coming from and, crucially, we can be understood for where we're coming from," explains Irshad Manji, founder Moral Courage College.

The people behind Diversity without Division say they're hearing from company leaders all the time who are looking for ways to reset their DEI programs.

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