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Scholars Admit Annual Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion Trainings Aren’t Effective, Suggest More Wokeness

Scholars recently admitted to Forbes that annual diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) trainings aren’t very effective and that the solution should be more woke ideology.

The College Fix reported that “Traditional anti-discrimination trainings conducted on an annual basis aren’t sufficient — and studies show it.” But instead of looking for reasons why the training isn’t actually effective and that perhaps the content needs to be changed or presented another way, those scholars insisted that people simply must be subjected to the training more often.

The Forbes article explained that a “lack of understanding regarding issues like the bamboo ceiling, hair discrimination, tone policing, colorism, and experiences of first-generation professionals inhibits an organization’s ability to cultivate inclusive spaces.”

Donna Dockery, a DEI expert and adjunct professor at Hunter College, told Forbes that annual training ends up with situations where “the people who usually need it the most and usually the ones who do not value it … do not show up.” Dockery then argued that once a year was not enough for these trainings.

“They are also commonly done once a year or reactive to something bad, which comes off as disingenuous,” she told Forbes.

“Make your DEI efforts a priority … make it a part of your annual budget. It should be engrained in your work activities,” Dockery added. “These trainings need to be ongoing.”

Dockery then told the Fix that her comments to Forbes were just a general outline of what can be done to improve DEI.

“The next steps for someone like me would be to customize the things you are asking for at an organization based on their needs,” she told the outlet. “Research show the common once or twice a year makes little difference.”

As the Fix noted, it has long been known that annual DEI trainings don’t work.

“The Harvard Business Review published an article co-authored by UC Hastings Law School Professor Joan Williams in 2019 that is based on the premise that studies show DEI training ‘rarely delivers” for corporations,’ the outlet reported.

Williams told the outlet earlier this month that “One conversation” about DEI isn’t enough and that “bias is day by day.” More from the Fix:

To interrupt this, a number of steps are required – and they need to be meaningful and carried out across a longer period of time, she said.

“Just doing training alone is not enough,” Williams said.

The Fix asked Williams for the written basis of these claims, and the scholar cited research from the academic journal Anthropology Now titled “Why Doesn’t Diversity Training Work?” written by Harvard University sociology Professor Frank Dobbin and Tel Aviv University Professor Alexandra Kalev.

Dobbin and Kalev concluded that “two-thirds of human resources specialists report that diversity training does not have positive effects, and several field studies have found no effect of diversity training on women’s or minorities’ careers or on managerial diversity.”

Additionally, the widely cited study noted there “is ample evidence that training alone does not change attitudes or behavior, or not by much and not for long.”

Other critiques of DEI training include allegations that the so-called anti-bias training actually reinforces stereotypes, according to the study from Dobbin and Kalev. The two also found that “recent research suggests that training inspires unrealistic confidence in antidiscrimination programs, making employees complacent about their own biases.”

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