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Why Does DEIB Fail?

Problem: Focusing on Diversity and Inclusion over Equity and Belonging

While Diversity and Inclusion initiatives may be action-based and devoid of systemic shifts, the true foundation of DEIB lies in Equity and Belonging. If organizations successfully imbue Equity and Belonging, Diversity and Inclusion naturally follow suit.


  • Cultivate Psychological Safety
  • Review and Revise Policies with an Equity Lens
  • Encourage Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

Problem: Reactivity and Fear-Based Approaches

Many DEIB programs are hastily constructed as reactive measures to public criticism, lawsuits, or PR crises, rather than proactively designed with genuine intent.


  • Develop a proactive DEIB Strategy
  • Foster Employee Involvement
  • Invest in Education and Training
  • Implement Feedback Mechanisms

Problem: Unaddressed Biases of Program Creators

Even well-intentioned professionals shaping DEIB strategies can inadvertently be influenced by their implicit biases.


  • Hold Comprehensive Bias Training
  • Launch Awareness Workshops
  • Embrace Scenario-Based Training
  • Prioritize Continuous Learning
  • Seek Diverse Collaboration and Oversight
  • Emphasize Multiple Perspectives
  • Conduct External Audits
  • Use Data-Informed Decision Making
  • Perform Baseline Assessments
  • Establish Objective Metrics
  • Schedule Regular Review and Iteration

Problem: Lack of Diversity in Leadership

According to McKinsey & Company, diverse leadership teams significantly outperform their counterparts. Still, profitability alone doesn’t signify the absence of DEIB issues.


  • Commit to Succession Planning and Mentorship
  • Build a Diverse Talent Pipeline
  • Promote Reverse Mentoring
  • Ensure Bias-Free Recruitment and Promotion through Structured Interviews and Diverse Hiring Panels
  • Train Leaders in Diversity and Inclusive Decision-Making

Problem: Dominance of “Command & Control” Leadership

In the context of DEIB, the traditional “Command and control” leadership approach can be counterproductive.


  • Adopt a Human-Centered Leadership Approach
  • Empower employees and genuinely listen to their feedback
  • Prioritize team growth and development
  • Incorporate DEIB into Organizational Values
  • Communicate DEIB consistently
  • Promote Grassroots DEIB Initiatives

Problem: Limitations of Diversity Training

DEIB programs need more than one-off, lecture-based diversity training sessions.


  • Implement Continuous Learning Modules
  • Provide Practical Tools and Resources
  • Encourage Peer-to-Peer Learning

Problem: Telling What to Think vs Sharing How to Think

Traditional diversity training often imposes set beliefs on employees, potentially sidelining their individual experiences and perspectives.


  • Cognitive Skill Development: Offer Critical Thinking Workshops and Problem-Solving Exercises.
  • Empathy & Active Listening: Introduce Listening Circles and provide Active Listening Training.
  • Foster Open Dialogue: Create Safe Space Forums for open DEIB discussions and invite Guest Speakers and Panels for diversified insights.

Problem: Lack of Leadership and Employee Engagement

For a DEIB program to be effective, engagement from leadership and the broader employee base is paramount.


  • Empower Leadership Champions
  • Involve Employees from the Get-Go
  • Establish Robust Communication Platforms

Problem: Seeing DEIB as an Individual Responsibility instead of an Ecosystem

The success of DEIB initiatives requires they be integrated into a company’s broader strategy.


  • Assess DEIB Gaps in your organization here
  • Embed DEIB in Organizational Strategy
  • Foster Cross-Functional Collaboration
  • Engage Every Layer of the Organization

For a comprehensive look at your organization’s DEIB framework, assess your current DEIB gaps. The assessment can be found here. Embracing these proactive solutions can make your DEIB programs more robust, effective, and meaningful.

Chat with us on LinkedIn about implementing solutions and what steps to take after you receive your Gap Assessment.