Loyal readers may remember a post from September 2021: Focusing on race and racism just makes the problem worse. (true or false?) My friend was forced to disagree with the proposition “Focusing on race and racism just makes the problem worse” in order to keep her job with a big Maskachusetts health care system. A week ago in the New York Times… “What if Diversity Trainings Are Doing More Harm Than Good?”:
Diversity trainings have been around for decades, long before the country’s latest round of racial reckoning. But after George Floyd’s murder — as companies faced pressure to demonstrate a commitment to racial justice — interest in the diversity, equity and inclusion (D.E.I.) industry exploded. The American market reached an estimated $3.4 billion in 2020.
Though diversity trainings have been around in one form or another since at least the 1960s, few of them are ever subjected to rigorous evaluation, and those that are mostly appear to have little or no positive long-term effects. The lack of evidence is “disappointing,” wrote Elizabeth Levy Paluck of Princeton and her co-authors in a 2021 Annual Review of Psychology article, “considering the frequency with which calls for diversity training emerge in the wake of widely publicized instances of discriminatory conduct.”
But there’s a darker possibility: Some diversity initiatives might actually worsen the D.E.I. climates of the organizations that pay for them.
What happened to my friend? She worked from a home office in a suburban bunker. Lacking faith in the Sacrament of Fauci and having had a bad reaction to her one and only dose of the experimental J&J COVID, she refused to comply with the employer’s demand that she accept the Sacrament of the Bivalent Booster. Although she pointed out that she always worked from home and never came into physical contact with any employees or patients of the health care enterprise, she was fired.
Speaking of Maskachusetts and business commitment to social justice, here’s an office building in Kendall Square, Cambridge, photographed January 13, 2023. The 2SLGBTQQIA+ rainbow flag is the literal foundation of the skyscraper: