We Need to Talk About Dog-Whistle Diversity

Dog-Whistle Diversity is the notion that companies are making strides to be more diverse (to support business objectives and company growth), but once diverse employees enter the company (diverse in age, gender and race), they’re subject to indirect discrimination. In other words organizations are making efforts towards diversity and inclusion in name only. Detriments of dog-whistle diversity apply doubly so for women of color, who find themselves a double minority in workplaces dominated by white men. Fortune 500 reports that 80% of corporate leaders are men and 72% are white. Diversity consultant Verna Myers notes that companies are failing to appeal to an increasingly diverse millennial bracket because they invite difference and paradoxically, want to remain the same.

When people of color do get that promotion and climb the corporate ladder, they are subject to a period where their success plateaus before they can move up again, because they have to overcome bias, unconscious or otherwise. Black women report feeling stalled, unrecognized and find that it is extremely difficult to find sponsorship. Effective diversity management, or inclusion, is what is necessary to remedy this problem, fostering that sense of ambient belonging in women of color that makes white men feel so at ease. Colorblindness, a virtue that is instilled in women of color in the corporate space, does nothing except stifle them and make them less likely to act when they are being ignored or passed over. Karen Bond, President of Executive Alliance, a group which helps women succeed in leadership roles in Maryland, advises women of color to look at their social networks and focus on navigating these rather than just working hard.

To learn more about Dog-Whistle Diversity, read the rest of the article on TIME.

We Need to Talk About Dog-Whistle Diversity

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