The Corner

Culture

The Problem with Diversity Training

The Washington Post reports: ”In the cover story of the latest issue of the Harvard Business Review, sociologists from Harvard University and Tel Aviv University explore the counterintuitive idea that some of the most common tools for improving diversity — one of which is mandatory training — are not just ineffective. They could be detrimental to improving the number of women and minorities in the managerial ranks.” The story elaborates on this and explains that it’s not just mandatory training but “other tactics often aimed at helping with diversity — such as skill tests to help prevent bias in the hiring process or grievance systems where employees can log complaints — [that can lead to] declines in the number of women and minorities in the companies’ workforces over time.” 

Seems that those mandatory diversity sessions make people grumpy, and managers “don’t like being told whom they want to hire, so they often distribute tests selectively, … while grievance systems can make managers feel threatened and retaliate.”  Conversely, “In addition to voluntary training programs, [the] research found that college recruitment aimed at women and minorities, as well as the addition of mentorship programs, diversity task forces and diversity managers, all led to improved diversity among managers over time. Creating a diversity task force within a company, for example, led to a 30 percent increase in Asian men and a 23 percent increase in black women over five years.”  If you don’t like reading the Washington Post, you can read the Fox News version of the story here.

So, am I happy that even Harvard and the MSM are willing to concede the abuses and shortcomings that politically correct bean-counting has caused?  Sure, but my happiness is tempered by two interrelated things.  First, there is no mention of the fact that there are legal prohibitions on race-and sex-based hiring; and, second, it’s accepted that companies should be striving to achieve “diversity” rather than just hiring and promoting the best qualified people.

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