For the past years, Frank Dobbin, a Professor of Sociology at Harvard University, has been researching diversity initiatives at big corporations and academic institutions. He has consistently come to the same, sobering conclusion: They don’t tend to work. And in many cases, they actually backfire.
In this nuts-and-bolts conversation with Yascha Mounk, Dobbin explains why diversity programs so often fail: Especially if they are mandatory, they tend to portray decision-makers as part of the problem, and to threaten them with adverse consequences if they do something wrong.
Instead, he suggests, diversity programs should invite decision-makers to become active advocates for change by making initiatives voluntary and empowering managers to make their own decisions about how to recruit more members of underrepresented groups.
Please do take the time to listen to our conversation.
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