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DEI: Identifying Risks to Sustainability

DEI: Identifying Risks to Sustainability

Reflecting a longing for long-term change in the social construct towards more egalitarian models, DEI now has a government policy framework that favors its adoption by Corporate America.

HR managers around the country have identified implementation risks to long-term DEI sustainability. Here are 5 of them.

Tokenism: DEI can create the perception that certain individuals were hired/promoted based only on demographics. This would undermine their credibility and contributions in the organization.

Resistance: DEI can generate resistance from employees who may feel threatened (quotas, career prospects, etc.), and result in a hostile work environment.

Ineffectiveness: Poorly designed DEI initiatives can miss underlying HR issues, wasting valuable resources.

Oversimplification: Reducing perceived social issues to mere quotas creates a false sense of “virtuous” progress.

Talent attrition: Rash implementation can unjustifiably favor demographics over skills, miss hiring opportunities, and constrain the talent pool.

How can these risks be mitigated? Articulating a prudent framework for implementation, constantly engaging with employees, and focusing on sustainable long-term objectives.

Boards and in-house counsels are also aware that the legal framework for DEI is nascent and will be challenged in courts. Cautiousness in implementation favors long-term sustainability.

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