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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