The Failure of the DEI-Industrial Complex
Despite the increase in organizations adopting DEI initiatives and the proliferation of DEI firms and practitioners, the big, poorly kept secret is that the majority of these initiatives are less effective than many make them out to be. On the one hand, there is a lack of standards, consistency, and accountability among DEI practitioners. And on the other, organizations keep asking for, and funding, interventions that don’t work. This phenomenon that purports to end inequity but instead sustains it at great cost to marginalized populations is called the DEI-Industrial Complex. To end it, the author, a DEI practitioner, provides four actions for organizations and DEI practitioners to take: 1) Identify DEI challenges before prescribing DEI solutions, 2) find the right specialist(s), 3) measure not only inputs, but outcomes, and 4) have those doing the work inform the budget for it.