Originally published: July 5, 2016
Diversity programs aren’t increasing diversity in the workplace — in fact, they might just be a liability to achieving that end. So says Frank Dobbin, a sociology professor at Harvard University, and Alexandra Kalev, an associate professor of sociology at Tel Aviv University, in an in-depth article published in this month’s Harvard Business Review.
The most popular programs — mandatory trainings sold to companies by outside consultants — are backfiring, making the attendees feel resentful towards the very people they are being asked to embrace, according to the study.
The study analyzed 30 years of data from more than 800 U.S. firms, interviewing hundreds of line managers and executives and determining that by not strong-arming managers to increase diversity in their workforces, results are better.