The Harvard Business Review estimates that the U. S. is facing a diversity crisis. But why aren't these programs working for black Americans? In recent years, especially after the George Floyd protests, advocates for diversity, equity and inclusion claim that the United States has a systematic racial problem.
However, this notion is an inaccurate description that exacerbates racial anxiety, discord, and animosity. The whole concept of diversity, equity, and inclusion tells blacks that the system is against them and that the only hope for success is to seize the opportunity offered by minority quotas. The narrative inculcates in minorities the idea that hard work and determination are useless. Given the problems posed by DEI training in the workplace, why are so many companies rushing to jump on the bandwagon instead of exploring alternative strategies? Companies adopt these programs for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they do it because they believe in the power of diversity.
And in some cases, they fear legal liability. The sooner people who want diversity begin to recognize the power of each person, the sooner we will see minorities adopt their own personal agency. Telling people that the United States is against them will never empower anyone. It is important to always know your organization's objectives and vision of diversity and their connection to general business objectives.
Diversityis important in training because it prepares employees to work in a multicultural environment, which improves team dynamics and problem-solving skills. In a Wall Street Journal article, Rosanna Durruthy spoke about using employee resource groups (ERGs) as an opportunity to grow and develop talent and to help managers learn from these groups in a safe space.
While diversity, equity, and inclusion are at risk during a crisis or recession, it's important for companies to recognize the key role they play in recovery, resilience, and overall success in the future. You can participate in or create an employee resource group, or volunteer to chair or serve on committees that organize diversity-related events and activities. In fact, making structural changes to workforce strategies and systems can take many months, especially as companies face new challenges related to hiring and managing their staff. True workplace flexibility should give all employees the opportunity to work fairly and equally, whether they're on-site, in the office, or working from home.
Diversityis one of those things that I think is going in the right direction, but especially at the higher levels of management, it's something that still needs to be mitigated. The report adds that companies that make significant efforts for diversity, equity and inclusion, in addition to fostering a sense of belonging, have invested in their people by supporting employee resource groups (ERGs) and the strong support of their leadership teams. If your small business doesn't have the resources to pay for an expensive DE&I course, but you want to find a way to train your managers and employees, Coursera's workplace diversity and inclusion course is a good place to start.
This course provides an introduction to diversity, equity and inclusion topics such as unconscious bias, microaggressions, privilege awareness, allyship building skills, cultural competency development strategies and more.