Most diversity training efforts at US companies are at best ineffective and often even counterproductive in increasing the number of women and minorities in managerial positions. Decades of conventional wisdom have been shown to be horribly flawed and erroneous by a recent study of the long-term effects of diversity training in the American workplace.
An in-depth recent American Sociological Review study performed by by Alexandra Kalev of UC Berkeley, Frank Dobbin of Harvard, and Erin Kelly of the University of Minnesota reviewed 31 years of data from 830 mid-size to large U.S. and found that the kind of diversity training exercises offered at most firms were followed by:
- A 7.5% drop in the overall number of women in management.
- A 10% drop in the number of Black, female managers
- A 12% drop in the number of Black men in top positions.
- Similar drops in management were seen for Latinos and Asians.
The sociologists’ study shows that organizational responsibility and accountability make a difference; diversity training and evaluation don’t. It begs the question – why didn’t the EEOC examine these issues years ago?
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