DEI Gets Real

Source: Dagny Dukach, Harvard Business Review, January–February 2022
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It’s easy to view the corporate world’s growing emphasis on DEI—diversity, equity, and inclusion—with cynicism. Too often attempts to address discrimination seem to be more about optics than about real change, with business leaders’ being quick to issue statements of support but sluggish when it comes to taking meaningful action. And if you’ve ever rolled your eyes at a buzzword-laden corporate diversity training, you’re not alone.

But in the wake of movements such as Me Too and Black Lives Matter, there’s cause for optimism. It’s increasingly clear that many people—perhaps even the vast majority—are genuinely disturbed by inequities and are motivated to address them.

What will it take to transform those good intentions into actual shifts in the distribution of power? Four new books shed light on the challenges that women, people of color, and other underrepresented groups face at work and what employees, managers, and organizations can do to make DEI a reality.