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DEI Workplace Training Debate

October 4, 2023
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DEI Workplace Training Debate

Be it Resolved, DEI workplace programs do more harm than good

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the protests that followed in the summer of 2020, offices across North America began introducing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training programs with the objective of reducing racial bias and discrimination in the workplace. Lately, however, this multi-billion dollar industry is facing scrutiny by critics who believe these are unproven and expensive programs which are not only ineffective, but counterproductive. DEI training, they argue, often reinforces biases or introduces new stereotypes where they didn’t previously exist. Furthermore, if people from marginalized groups perceive themselves to be surrounded by others who are biased against them, they are more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression and antisocial behavior, which will impede their professional success and overall happiness.

Supporters of DEI programs argue that these initiatives are required to correct inequities that have long existed within organizations. This training helps people of different races, sexual orientations and diverse backgrounds to feel more comfortable in the workplace, which fosters creativity and collaboration and increases employee retention. By correcting power and privilege imbalances, DEI programs help create more equitable and productive work environments for all employees.

Both in practice and in ideology, DEI programs are hypocritical and a grift for power couched in the guise of moral superiority.”
– Rebekah Wanic

DEI training and workplace programs give us a way to grow not only individually, but through our awareness and our accountability.
– Diya Khanna

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