Diversity training has become the butt of many jokes as well as the go to "cure all" for corporate managers who want to avoid lawsuits. But, as virtually everyone already knew, it doesn't work.
And now we have a massive study to prove it. As the Harvard Business Review sums up,
"A study of 829 companies over 31 years showed that diversity training had “no positive effects in the average workplace.” Millions of dollars a year were spent on the training resulting in, well, nothing. Attitudes — and the diversity of the organizations — remained the same."
But actually, it's worse than that,
"The researchers — Frank Dobbin of Harvard, Alexandra Kalev of Berkeley, and Erin Kelly of the University of Minnesota — concluded that 'In firms where training is mandatory or emphasizes the threat of lawsuits, training actually has negative effects on management diversity.'"
Indeed, I think most people realize many companies just use diversity training to cover their backsides. And it usually comes off as condescending and sometimes ridiculous. Neither perception will help create a more "inclusive workplace."
Of course, that doesn't mean we should tolerate harassment or racism or things such as that in the office. But diversity training is obviously not the right answer.
Diversity training is, however, quite a profitable business in and of itself.
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