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Who Supports Diversity Policies? It Depends on the Policy – Harvard Business Review

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Read Who Supports Diversity Policies? It Depends on the Policy by Danny Lambouths III, William Scarborough, and Allyson Holbrook, from Harvard Business Review, October 4, 2019. Part of WiFi (What I Find Interesting) Wednesday.

“Looking at overall levels of support across policies, voluntary training and the establishment of a diversity office received the most support. This is good news, since these two policies have been proven to improve workplace diversity. Unfortunately, however, two other policies that have also been shown to be effective strategies, targeted recruitment and the establishment of accountable diversity goals, were the least popular. We believe these differences in support result from workers interpreting the latter policies as more compulsory than the former. As other research has shown, workers are more likely to resist diversity initiatives that are forced upon them.

Comparing levels of support between respondents, we found major differences by race and gender. Women, black, and Latinx workers are, as a whole, more supportive of diversity policies than men and white people. Across seven of the eight policies, black workers reported the highest levels of support, followed by Latinx workers, with whites showing the greatest opposition. Across gender, women reported higher levels of support than men for all but one of the policies, where women and men held similar opinions.”

By Danny Lambouths III, William Scarborough, and Allyson Holbrook, from Harvard Business Review, October 4, 2019.

This article, which is based on the analysis of around 1800 people across multiple racial identities in differing industries, both reinforced what I have experienced and what I have been told working in higher education. I encourage you to look at the data presented in the article to draw your own conclusions based on the questions asked.

“Those who care about diversity and identify the role of discrimination in social life are more supportive of inclusivity efforts. Rather than being isolated from broader issues, workplaces are sites of social change. Those that directly engage with these social issues will be most successful at fostering inclusive environments.

By Danny Lambouths III, William Scarborough, and Allyson Holbrook, from Harvard Business Review, October 4, 2019.

Having worked in diversity training efforts for most of my professional career, I believe we prepare college-educated workers on their role in creating just and inclusive work communities through our work in the college environment. In fact, we can increase the impact of this work when we can frame the need for diversity as improving the workplace environment in the future, with the students as leaders in their respective industries.

I wonder, however, if the same push-back perceived in this study also happens on your own college campuses. Share your thoughts and comments below!

Read Who Supports Diversity Policies? It Depends on the Policy by Danny Lambouths III, William Scarborough, and Allyson Holbrook, from Harvard Business Review, October 4, 2019. Part of WiFi (What I Find Interesting) Wednesday.

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