5 Why diversity and inclusion initiatives fail
If the workplace culture isn’t right, there is more chance of a diversity initiative failing. Daya (2021) explains five of the more common reasons why diversity and inclusion programmes fail:
- Creating awareness but not moving to sustainable actions – employees are left with a heightened sense of awareness but no practical advice on what to do next
- No strategic ownership of the diversity and inclusion agenda – placing ownership with your Human Resources team signals that this is a functional responsibility, when in fact it needs to be owned across the business as an area of strategic importance
- Focus on diversity numbers and inadequate attention to cultural transformation – diversity representation numbers are important, but without a truly inclusive environment, diversity alone will not result in innovation, participation or business growth
- Trying to change individuals instead of the places where they work – the biased structures and systems in a work environment will neutralise any efforts made by an individual to change
- Not applying the lens of intersectionality – organisations which consider intersectionality are better placed to remove inequality and reduce the effects of groups with different degrees of power and privilege continuing to marginalise each other.
The author concludes by explaining that the needs of employees, and environments in which companies operate, are continually changing so any diversity and inclusion programmes must reflect this – being continually updated and evaluated for success.