Ten Reasons Why Diversity Initiatives Fail

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Whether a diversity initiative is moving along successfully or befallen by significant problems, Chris Metzler's reasons why initiatives fail offers a strong overview of the pitfalls and challenges that diversity leaders face in forging ahead. Each of the ten reasons warrants its own separate article, yet taken as a whole this article provides guideposts for organizations at all stages of an initiative.

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... The concept and intent of diversity is not clarified to all individuals, including senior management responsible for its implementation, leading to an environment which is full of confusion and lacks acceptability. Further lack of formal trainings or trainings of poor quality also leads to failures in implementation (Metzier, 2003). While all factors may be considered as important, however organizational clarity on the objectives and taking everyone together as an organizational culture can be categorized as the utmost important. ...
This research aims to improve an understanding of the lived experience of the gender diversity of respondents in the Pakistani context. It provides a rich description of the influence that gender diversity had on the organizational culture and the employees. Specific benefits anticipated by the organization, from implementation of gender diversity and related challenges were explored. In depth interviews were conducted with key personnel including HR managers assigned with a specific task to implement gender diversity across the organization. The findings reveal that a lot of concentrated efforts have been put in to eradicate the mental barriers within the system and also inculcate the culture of diverse sets of people, especially gender, allowing multiple and diverse opinions within the organization. Targeted efforts towards gender diversity have started showing its fruits; as such implementation has led to improved performance for the organizations and creation of job opportunities for the female gender, which may have been ignored earlier. Moreover, the organization strongly believes that ongoing efforts will yield better results. Therefore, focused efforts, initiatives and constant messages to change the mindset need to continue. The trustworthiness of the data will be established through triangulation and a chain of evidence has been established between the research objective, research questions and the interview data.
... With respect to leadership receptivity, research-based evidence on why many diversity plans fail include: insufficient integration into core goals for educational excellence-both at the student level and at the institutional level [12]; a lack of a comprehensive and widely accepted assessment framework to measure diversity outcomes [13]; an inability to translate the vision for change into language and action that can be embraced at multiple levels of the institution [14]; failure to establish accountability processes to ensure that non-compliance is met with real consequences [15]; low levels of meaningful and consistent support from senior institutional leaders throughout the change process [15]; and resistance to allocating sufficient resources to ensure that the vision for change is driven deep into the institutional culture [12], [16]. Other reasons among ten others discussed by Metzler [17] include: failure to view diversity as organizational change, failure to address systemic issues, lack of authentic diversity leadership, and lack of accountability. ...
... Diversity as a business enhancement tool is relatively new. There is a steep learning curve, and like other long-term efforts to bring about change, there are considerable challenges, pitfalls, and problems (Metzler, 2003). So, despite a growing body of work that documents that diversity pays (e.g., Herring, forthcoming;Richard, 2000;Goncalo and Staw, 2006;Ely and Thomas, 2001;Chicago United, 2005;and van der Vegt, Bunderson, and Oosterhof, 2006), there is a great deal of pessimism about the impact of diversity. ...
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Educators have a notable role in shaping and impacting students in their understanding of diverse people and cultures as we engage them to be critical thinkers and global citizens. As the population of the United States becomes increasingly diverse, the Academy's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion becomes increasingly more important in order to successfully serve all students. This chapter examines the intersectionality of race, class, and gender and sexual orientation with our role as teacher. The author discusses the ways in which identity shapes and informs one's teaching, approaches notions of power and privilege, and brings underrepresented groups from margin to center while engaging, enlightening, and empowering students. Given the increasingly more diverse backgrounds of my students, the identity of the author plays an essential role in her philosophies and pedagogies, and how she is able positively impact students with a transformative experience that takes into consideration diverse viewpoints.
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This study examines the link between supervisor-subordinate dissimilarity and associated perceptions of discrimination and exclusionary treatment. Using a sample of 1,059 employees from a large Southeastern insurance company, we examined age, race, and gender dissimilarity as predictors of perceived discrimination, supervisory support, and leader-member exchange. In addition, we examined supervisor liking/attraction and status of affiliation with supervisor as intervening variables. Race dissimilarity related positively to perceptions of discrimination and exclusionary treatment, mediated by both supervisor liking and status. Effects for age and gender dissimilarity were nonsignificant. We discuss the importance of these findings for understanding and managing dyadic relationships at work. Copyright © 2013 ASAC. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. La présente étude étudie le lien entre la différence superviseur-subordonné et les perceptions de discrimination et de traitement d'exclusion qui en découlent. À partir d'un échantillon de 1059 employés d'une grande compagnie d'assurance Southeastern, elle examine l'âge, la race et la différence sexuelle comme des prédicteurs de la discrimination perç, du soutien du superviseur et de l'échange chef-membre. Elle analyse également l'estime/l'attraction du superviseur et le statut de l'affiliation avec le superviseur comme des variables médiatrices. Les résultats indiquent que la différence raciale est positivement reliée aux perceptions de discrimination et de traitement d'exclusion, médiées à la fois par l'estime du superviseur et le statut. À l'opposé, les effets de la différence d'âge et de sexe sont négligeables. L'étude s'achève par une analyse de l'importance des résultats pour la compréhension et la gestion des relations dyadiques. Copyright © 2013 ASAC. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to emphasize and provide some insights into the changes occurring in the library field, focusing on the need to become multi‐culturally competent to address these changes and in helping to bridge gaps between diverse communities. Design/methodology/approach The paper investigates various learning, teaching and communicating styles among cultures. It focuses on using the human experience in general to highlight and bring to the forefront the similarities that humans share rather than what drives them apart. Findings Many libraries, grassroots and more established organizations are struggling to achieve common ground and inclusiveness as a sustainable institutionalized work environment. Libraries, by nature, can play a leading role in these steps towards progress. Research limitations/implications The nature of the topic and the fact that it is unproductive to treat new views and social changes with old styles of thinking, approaches and solutions, results in difficulties when conformity to style or research methods is mandatory. Trying to box the human experience in scientific or quantified measures negate change and inclusion. Originality/value This paper suggests ways by which libraries and other organizations, in multicultural societies, can adapt their view points, work styles, by being open to change and valuing and respecting the different in order to devise new institutionalized measures that encompass all view points and values.
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