1. They do not understand the business
Practitioners understand the “business” and many are from the “business.” Diversity and Inclusion is an emerging field but prior to serving as Chief Diversity Officers, most practitioners served organizations in a multitude of capacities including organizational development, Human Resources, Procurement, line managers, etc. It is usually the “business” that does not get diversity in its holistic sense, beyond race and gender.
2. They are against management
Practitioners are not against management, as most are an integral part of the management team. D & I practitioners are for fairness, equity, and inclusion; transparency in well-crafted policies and procedures; openness to new ideas and innovation; and valuing all perspectives and talents to achieve stated organizational outcomes.
3. They just plan cultural events
Cultural Awareness events are typically apart of the diversity portfolio; however, they are not the focus of the work. Organizations do and should host cultural awareness events to invite all employees to learn about different cultures and challenge their assumptions.
- Their work does not impact the bottom line
Practitioners realize that success depends on implementing a D & I strategy that is properly aligned with, and supports, the business strategy. Low employee engagement, high turnover, discrimination lawsuits, poor supplier diversity, and an inability to leverage diverse innovative talent directly impacts the bottom line.
- They are minorities fighting for a cause
D & I Practitioners hail from all occupations, all races, and all ethnicities. While some organizations prefer to have a minority lead this effort, several practitioners are not categorized as “minorities.” Look on LinkedIn sometime and you will see that the diversity in D & I practitioners includes White males and females.