Well you aren’t alone. Consider this diversity officer’s experience:

Kayla is Fed Up With Diversity & Inclusion Resistance

Kayla walked into the leadership meeting feeling confident. She had fifteen minutes to present the latest diversity and inclusion strategy update. The presentation was well prepared using powerful scorecard data to show the benefits of moving forward. Just as she was about to share what she thought was the most informative slide, a manager says “Don’t get me wrong. I support the diversity project. My question is ‘What makes this project more pressing than the roll out of our new product?’ Shouldn’t we be focusing on getting that done rather than spread ourselves thin by taking on this additional work?” Other managers nodded their heads and commented in agreement.
Kayla is taken aback by the reactions. The D&I project has been on the table for discussion for a year, and everyone seems to be on board. As she tries to reel in the conversation, the CEO states that their concerns have merit and that he and Kayla would discuss how to move forward and get back to the leadership team with a viable plan. Her presentation is over. Kayla senses that the momentum built up for the D&I initiative reached a plateau far too early.
What derailed Kayla’s best efforts to move forward with the diversity initiative? What could she have done differently to complete the presentation and capture the hearts and minds of the audience?

Presenting Your D&I Ideas Can Be Filled With Diversity Landmines

Donald C. Langevoort, a Georgetown University Law professors, states that  “Some people argue that the way to the top of an organization is to play it safe and engage in ingratiation and other influence tactics with one’s superiors.”

This leads to an inconsistent commitment to diversity that creates landmines for the diversity professional. What are Diversity Leadership Landmines? A typical landmine the D&I professionals step on is when they take action based on what they believe is support for their plan and encounter unexpected resistance.  Landmines are ever present in D&I leadership due to the social and political nature of the work. Many workers view themselves free of prejudice and feel that it is unfair to favor particular groups in recruitment, so it’s hard for them to accept the need for a D&I strategy. The need to appear accepting and tolerant makes it difficult for many to speak their mind, which results in attempts to sabotage the D&I work both consciously and unconsciously. The D&I professional hears one message on the surface and quite another in actions, which can be disconcerting.
While landmines are inevitable in the work, they do not need to derail the D&I professional’s efforts.  This workshop provides knowledge and tools into how to lead in ways that create authentic sponsorship, maintain credibility, reduce resistance, and keep D&I initiatives in the forefront of the organization’s goals.

Managing Leadership Team Diversity & Inclusion Resistance

Kayla decided to attend the “HIGH IMPACT DIVERSITY DIALOGUE” workshop to learn to identify D&I landmines,and how to avoid them. One thing she learned is to set clear expectations for her audience to reduce diversity & inclusion resistance. But that wasn’t the most significant takeaway . . . .

You can gain the insights and strategies Mary learned by attending our one-day workshop:

diversity & inclusion resistance

Barbara Adams, PsyD & Billy Vaughn, PhD CDP

Facilitators: Dr. Barbara Adams GAR Consulting and Dr. Billy Vaughn CDP DTUI.com LLC

When: October 28, 2016

Where: 55 Fourth Street, San Francisco, CA. 94103

Time: 7:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Contact Us: 

How to Register:


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