Why Diversity Programs Fail?


In this keynote presentation, Harvard Professor Frank Dobbin will address not only why diversity programs fail, but also why some succeed. He’ll share research on the effectiveness of various diversity policies, based on decades of data and surveys of more than 800 firms in various fields. With Alexandra Kalev, he is developing an evidence-based approach to diversity management. He’ll explain why traditional diversity training and diversify performance evaluations often fail, and how companies have succeeded by engaging managers through  mentoring programs, diversity taskforces, and special recruitment programs.
In this keynote address, you will learn:

  • The current diversity landscape—why 30 years of diversity focus has yielded poor results.
  • Why diversity training often doesn’t work.
  • How a culture of engagement, accountability and transparency improves diversity effectiveness.
  • How manager engagement is key to diversity program success.


Frank Dobbin

Professor of Sociology, Harvard University; Harvard Business Review Cover Story: Why Diversity Programs Fail -- And What Works Better