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Unconscious Bias – The failures of diversity training

There’s great work showing that diversity is correlated with business performance. But we’ve also learned that that probably won’t be enough to move the needle. That came as somewhat of a surprise to many of us, who thought that if we can show the business case, things will happen. But clearly more needs to be done.

The failures of diversity training

About $8 billion a year is spent on diversity trainings in the United States alone. Now, I tried very hard to find any evidence I could. I looked not just in the United States but also in Rwanda and other post-conflict countries, where reconciliation is often built on the kind of diversity trainings that we do in our companies, to see how this is working.

Sadly enough, I did not find a single study that found that diversity training in fact leads to more diversity. Now, that’s disappointing, discouraging, but maybe when we unpack it also understandable. The unpacking means that there’s a lot of research that has nothing to do with diversity or gender or biases but is more generally trying to understand how people think, and it has shown that it is actually very hard to change mind-sets.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Focusing on what works for workplace diversity | McKinsey & Company

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