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Diversity, Inc.: The Failed Promise of a Billion-Dollar Business

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An award-winning journalist shows how workplace diversity initiatives have turned into a profoundly misguided industry--and have done little to bring equality to America's major industries and institutions. Diversity has become the new buzzword, championed by elite institutions from academia to Hollywood to corporate America. In an effort to ensure their organizations rep An award-winning journalist shows how workplace diversity initiatives have turned into a profoundly misguided industry--and have done little to bring equality to America's major industries and institutions. Diversity has become the new buzzword, championed by elite institutions from academia to Hollywood to corporate America. In an effort to ensure their organizations represent the racial and ethnic makeup of the country, industry and foundation leaders have pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to commission studies, launch training sessions, and hire consultants and diversity czars. But is it working? In Diversity, Inc., award-winning journalist Pamela Newkirk shines a bright light on the diversity industry, asking the tough questions about what has been effective--and why progress has been so slow. Newkirk highlights the rare success stories, sharing valuable lessons about how other industries can match those gains. But as she argues, despite decades of handwringing, costly initiatives, and uncomfortable conversations, organizations have, apart from a few exceptions, fallen far short of their goals. Diversity, Inc. incisively shows the vast gap between the rhetoric of inclusivity and real achievements. If we are to deliver on the promise of true equality, we need to abandon ineffective, costly measures and commit ourselves to combatting enduring racial attitudes


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An award-winning journalist shows how workplace diversity initiatives have turned into a profoundly misguided industry--and have done little to bring equality to America's major industries and institutions. Diversity has become the new buzzword, championed by elite institutions from academia to Hollywood to corporate America. In an effort to ensure their organizations rep An award-winning journalist shows how workplace diversity initiatives have turned into a profoundly misguided industry--and have done little to bring equality to America's major industries and institutions. Diversity has become the new buzzword, championed by elite institutions from academia to Hollywood to corporate America. In an effort to ensure their organizations represent the racial and ethnic makeup of the country, industry and foundation leaders have pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to commission studies, launch training sessions, and hire consultants and diversity czars. But is it working? In Diversity, Inc., award-winning journalist Pamela Newkirk shines a bright light on the diversity industry, asking the tough questions about what has been effective--and why progress has been so slow. Newkirk highlights the rare success stories, sharing valuable lessons about how other industries can match those gains. But as she argues, despite decades of handwringing, costly initiatives, and uncomfortable conversations, organizations have, apart from a few exceptions, fallen far short of their goals. Diversity, Inc. incisively shows the vast gap between the rhetoric of inclusivity and real achievements. If we are to deliver on the promise of true equality, we need to abandon ineffective, costly measures and commit ourselves to combatting enduring racial attitudes

30 review for Diversity, Inc.: The Failed Promise of a Billion-Dollar Business

  1. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Goodreads giveaway win! 4.5 Stars Have you ever noticed that companies and universities only talk about diversity when something bad happens? Like when a White employee calls the cops on 2 Black men from just sitting in a Starbucks. Or when a Black man is brutally murdered by the police kneeling on his neck. Suddenly companies want everyone to know that they support diversity and more recently companies have even acknowledged that Black Lives Matter. I always find these statements hilarious becaus Goodreads giveaway win! 4.5 Stars Have you ever noticed that companies and universities only talk about diversity when something bad happens? Like when a White employee calls the cops on 2 Black men from just sitting in a Starbucks. Or when a Black man is brutally murdered by the police kneeling on his neck. Suddenly companies want everyone to know that they support diversity and more recently companies have even acknowledged that Black Lives Matter. I always find these statements hilarious because Black and Brown people know that its all PR. Those companies don't actually care about diversity, they just want the news to report that they care about diversity. If you actually care about Black, Brown, Asian, and LGBTQIA+ people, it shouldn't take something embarrassing or horrific for them to actually not just put out some bullshit BLM statement. They would do it because its the right thing to do. Here is my own definition for White Privilege: White Privilege is not needing to think about your own race. I as a Black person think about my race every time I leave the house, every time I interact with a White person ( friend or stranger), every time I walk into a store, every time I see a cop, every time I go on a job interview. I even think about my race when I speak to people on the phone, I change the way I speak when I'm talking to White person. As a Black person I always need to be on guard.... And its exhausting. But even if I do everything right sometimes my race will still be used as a weapon. I work for my father now and I have vowed that I will never work for another White person ever again after my last experience being the only Black person at my job. Storytime! A couple years ago I worked for a company and I really enjoyed my job. The pay wasn't great but I have money so I don't need to work for money. Anyway I had worked there for about 5 years, and I thought that I was a well liked and respected member of the team....Until I was fired for "Touching the money too much". I was extremely confused and asked them what that meant and they said that they thought I was stealing. So I asked if any money was missing? They said that they didn't need to tell me that. I asked if I had been caught on video taking money(I knew I hadn't because I didn't steal anything) They said that I didn't need to know that and I should just know that they could fire me for any reason because I worked At Will. I asked them if they planned to press charges? They said No I told them that if they believed I was stealing they should press charges ( I even offered to call the police myself) They suddenly became uncomfortable and said that they didn't need to press charges they were just letting me go. And they said they were paying me for this week(it was Monday, I hadn't even this week yet). Now class if you believe someone has been stealing and that person only works part time, Why would pay them a severance? I know why I think they did it. Before leaving I once again asked if any money was missing? And my boss started to say no but the HR lady stepped in and said they could fire me if they suspected that I might steal in the future and that the way I handled the money made them feel uncomfortable. Some of you may read this and be shocked, all of my White friends and former coworkers were...but every Black or Brown person I told was unsurprised. I don't believe that most companies even want non White people in their companies. If they did then it wouldn't take public shame or government mandates to do it. I will only work for Black owned companies from now on because its the only work environment in which I feel safe. Which is a sad indictment of America and the world at large. White people read this book, especially if you own a business or in charge of hiring. Or just if you want to understand what your Black and Brown coworkers have or are experiencing. A must read!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    ***I was granted an ARC of this via Netgalley from the publisher.*** Today, diversity is a hot topic in the United States. It is the topic of countless corporate meetings, professional workshops and online discussions. There are college programs for people who want to learn how to be diversity czars in the workplace. There is much talk over how far we have come since the last century. However, journalist Pamela Newkirk in her new book Diversity, Inc: The Failed Promise of a Billion-Dollar Busines ***I was granted an ARC of this via Netgalley from the publisher.*** Today, diversity is a hot topic in the United States. It is the topic of countless corporate meetings, professional workshops and online discussions. There are college programs for people who want to learn how to be diversity czars in the workplace. There is much talk over how far we have come since the last century. However, journalist Pamela Newkirk in her new book Diversity, Inc: The Failed Promise of a Billion-Dollar Business examines just how short we have fallen when it comes to delivering on diversity in the workplace. For the purposes of this book, Newkirk looks at diversity in many fields but pays special attention to art and entertainment, academia and corporate America and how it affects the three largest ethnic minorities in the United States: African American/Blacks, Hispanics/Latinx and Asian Americans. There are numerous campaigns and millions of dollars spent in these industries pushing diversity initiatives that are supposed to increase the number of ethnic minorities represented. However, as Newkirk shows this has not resulted in workplaces resembling the ethnic makeup of the United States. For example, from 1985 to 2016 “the proportion of Black men in management at all US companies with one hundred employees or more barely budged, from 3 percent to 3.2 percent.” Black, Hispanics and Asians as well as women remain disproportionately underrepresented in many fields. How is this possible when it seems companies and academic institutions seems to be pushing diversity left and right? According to Newkirk it is: “Impossible to understand diversity without exploring the big business of it, the tension between the rhetoric and expenditures, and the chronically disappointing results.” Newkirk examines each industry in question and examines its it past issues with diversity, the diversity efforts tried or currently in place and how those diversity efforts have panned out. The author gives the reader a historical background on the diversity issues of each industry. She does a good job at providing statistics which unfortunately in most cases provide a dismal view of the effectiveness of diversity programs. “Perhaps most surprising is that many of the fields considered the most progressive, such as the arts and entertainment, are the least diverse…” But the author also highlights some successes of diversity initiatives: Coca Cola’s efforts after a large class action lawsuit and the NFL’s use of the Rooney Rule, which mandates that at least one minority candidate must be seriously considered for a coaching position. Newkirk does not just point out how diversity efforts fail but why. She, along with others in the field, sees that a lack of support from leadership can doom any efforts to failure. Many diversity professionals find that “while they work in the trenches and are held to account for workplace tensions and uninspiring results, many critics ignore the extent to which their success-or that of any initiative they deploy-wholly rests on the will, intention, and competence of those at the top of the institutions they serve.” This book shows that without the support of leadership and more inspired ways of encouraging diversity, things will continue to stay the same no matter how much money or fancy campaigns we throw at the problem. If you’re interested in an in-depth look at how diversity in the workplace, academia and entertainment has been handled and why we seem not to have made much headway then this book will most certainly be of interest to you. Rating: 4 stars. Would recommend to a friend.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    "During more than three decades of my professional life, diversity has been a national preoccupation. Yet despite decades of handwringing, costly initiatives, and uncomfortable conversations, progress in most elite American institutions has been negligible. [...] Why, after five decades of countless studies, public pledges, and high-profile initiatives, is diversity lagging in most elite fields? And why do many White Americans believe that racial progress has been much better than the numbers "During more than three decades of my professional life, diversity has been a national preoccupation. Yet despite decades of handwringing, costly initiatives, and uncomfortable conversations, progress in most elite American institutions has been negligible. [...] Why, after five decades of countless studies, public pledges, and high-profile initiatives, is diversity lagging in most elite fields? And why do many White Americans believe that racial progress has been much better than the numbers suggest? This is the research question that Pamela Newkirk, an award-winning journalist and professor at NYU, poses. She posits that the diversity conversation began in 1968 with the release of the Kerner Commission's report on the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow, calling for the inclusion of Black Americans in all institutions. Since then, no matter how often the topic comes up in lawsuits, affirmative action in higher education, #OscarsSoWhite, etc., we haven't seen a fundamental shift in the numbers of people of color in elite positions. Not only that, but there is now a billion-dollar industry around diversity, with millions of positions for diversity and inclusion consultants being advertised every year. Newkirk focuses on three industries in particular: Hollywood, academia, and corporate America. She recounts the history, often shameful, of these three institutions when it comes to how they have portrayed and treated people of color. (A note that Newkirk deals only with racial diversity in this book, but acknowledges that other forms of diversity are part of the greater conversation.) She does a fantastic job at taking these industries to task, pointing out how they have succeeded, but more importantly, how and WHY they have failed to make significant progress. What I found most compelling about this book is Newkirk rooting the argument for diversity and inclusion in the greater conversation about race, equality, and discrimination in America. This is a fundamental question when it comes to diversity - just look at Supreme Court decisions about affirmative action and you'll see justices of the United States questioning why diversity is important. In a political moment like this one, diversity is not just about proportional representation. It's about decisions being made by people who understand the world differently than the white male experience. It's about confronting that race relations in this country - racism, police brutality, voting rights, mass incarceration, etc. - will not change until we both reckon with our shameful history and work hard to erase it. The reason that racism is so pervasive today is the same reason diversity initiatives have not succeeded, perfectly summed up by this quote Newkirk shares, from Ford Foundation president Darren Walker: "Progress won't come without us being uncomfortable [...] People want to believe we can have diversity and not really get uncomfortable...It requires incumbent leaders and managers to change their behavior and practices. It means that institutions have to change incentive structures and to fundamentally interrogate their own behavior, which is very uncomfortable. There is so much more I could say about this book, but I recommend you read it for yourself. It is a fascinating work of history, but more importantly, a collection of valuable lessons learned on diversity, and what work needs to come next. Ultimately, shifts in diversity won't come about until we commit to restructuring who has power - and this will always come as a threat to those who currently have power. But if we want to truly commit to creating a more inclusive society and not just making empty promises, this is the work that needs to happen.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Velez Diodonet

    "Progress won't come without us being uncomfortable. People want to believe we can have diversity and not really get uncomfortable...It requires incumbent leaders and managers to change their behavior and practices. It means that institutions have to change incentive structures and to fundamentally interrogate their own behavior."- Darren Walker, The Ford Foundation president Diversity is today's hot topic and "trend" but has anything really changed and has the nation moved far enough in the rig "Progress won't come without us being uncomfortable. People want to believe we can have diversity and not really get uncomfortable...It requires incumbent leaders and managers to change their behavior and practices. It means that institutions have to change incentive structures and to fundamentally interrogate their own behavior."- Darren Walker, The Ford Foundation president Diversity is today's hot topic and "trend" but has anything really changed and has the nation moved far enough in the right direction to call it progress? In this book, the author an award winning journalist and professor discusses the attempts to diversify in academia, Hollywood and corporate America. She illuminates what has worked and exposes the underlying truths and history of this nation that have become so engrained and institutionalized that have impeded real progress. She argues the main premise that diversity cannot happen without inclusivity on all levels of decision making. She argues the topic of diversity from business perspective and gives into what changes need to happen I order to see long lasting effects. I really enjoyed this book because the author provided the history and challenges of diversity to give greater context. She highlights the underlying biases and inherent racism that makes rapid change almost impossible. She is raw and honest in her assessment but offers great insight and solutions that need to be considered. This book is one that I would add to the list of books that everyone must read in their lifetime. Once you read about this topic, you will never be the same. The author prepares you to have difficult conversations and become an advocate for change. Thanks to Bold Type Press for the ARC and chance to give an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Marya

    The author is an excellent writer, evidenced by the fact that I continued to read this book cover to cover even when it wasn't answering any of my questions. More than the first third of the book is devoted to backing up the premises - what does diversity even mean, what industries in the United States will the book focus on, and how these are industries not diverse. That takes a LONG time, though I suppose it works for an academic subject. Next, Newkirk talks about Columbia and Coca-Cola's laud The author is an excellent writer, evidenced by the fact that I continued to read this book cover to cover even when it wasn't answering any of my questions. More than the first third of the book is devoted to backing up the premises - what does diversity even mean, what industries in the United States will the book focus on, and how these are industries not diverse. That takes a LONG time, though I suppose it works for an academic subject. Next, Newkirk talks about Columbia and Coca-Cola's laudable efforts at diversity that ended up being effective. This takes a relatively short time. The last chapter of the book gives a breezy overview of the diversity industry without a whole lot of detail. And then it's over. I was hoping to learn more about the industry itself (much like how Paul Tough explores Admissions in his latest book on college education), but that content just isn't here. Like I said, the topic intrigued me and the writing was excellent. It just never explored that topic in detail.

  6. 4 out of 5

    LeRhonda Greats

    Such a great read. The billion dollars that people spend trying to hire a diversity director is not the only answer. We need to professionalize the work. Too often the person leading this work have to fight their supervisor because they are not educated to support this work moving forward across the organization.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lindy

    Based on the title and the cover copy, I assumed this book would be about the industry of business seminars, workshops, etc. that promote diversity as a consumer commodity and also don't seem to have much positive effect on how people of color experience their workplaces. The last thirty or so pages touch on this. The majority of the book argues that the film industry, academia, and Fortune 500 companies are racist and aren't any less racist than they were twenty years ago. The author argues it Based on the title and the cover copy, I assumed this book would be about the industry of business seminars, workshops, etc. that promote diversity as a consumer commodity and also don't seem to have much positive effect on how people of color experience their workplaces. The last thirty or so pages touch on this. The majority of the book argues that the film industry, academia, and Fortune 500 companies are racist and aren't any less racist than they were twenty years ago. The author argues it well, but it's a much more standard argument, and is argued in the standard ways. Essentially the book concludes where I thought it would begin.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    This is a really interesting look at why - despite attention and resources being put to diversity initiatives since the Civil Rights movement, little to nothing has changed in a measurable way. I thought it was interesting to look at sectors that are considered so progressive (academia, art, Hollywood) but when you look at them, they are not. And as a white person reading this, it challenged my allyship and gave me some clear ideas of what I might be able to do in the workplace. It was dense in This is a really interesting look at why - despite attention and resources being put to diversity initiatives since the Civil Rights movement, little to nothing has changed in a measurable way. I thought it was interesting to look at sectors that are considered so progressive (academia, art, Hollywood) but when you look at them, they are not. And as a white person reading this, it challenged my allyship and gave me some clear ideas of what I might be able to do in the workplace. It was dense in sections though and she rolled off a lot of stats at times which I find hard to follow.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    I would recommend this book to others in the DEI field. Newkirk provides the history that shaped the current DEI landscape and why most diversity initiatives at companies and universities have failed to move the needle.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Miguel Buddle

    Interesting book but not that much of it as actually about the diversity business. Lot of history of inequity across the academic, corporate, and sports space.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bob Larson

    Prof. Newkirk has a strong point, but she took a long time to get there and often contradicted assertions made earlier -- sometimes even in the same chapter. She placed more emphasis on pointing out subconscious and systemic discrimination than looking for root causes, let alone solutions (e.g., she points out that black children are less likely to go into computer science because they're less likely to have a computer at home, but fails to suggest any remedy, beyond suggesting that if Google wer Prof. Newkirk has a strong point, but she took a long time to get there and often contradicted assertions made earlier -- sometimes even in the same chapter. She placed more emphasis on pointing out subconscious and systemic discrimination than looking for root causes, let alone solutions (e.g., she points out that black children are less likely to go into computer science because they're less likely to have a computer at home, but fails to suggest any remedy, beyond suggesting that if Google were really serious about its diversity initiatives it should look at the pipeline instead of addressing its current workforce).

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    4/10 This subject matter and core of the book is important, and the need for diversity is something I can stand firmly behind, however, Newkirk capitalizes on the problem without doing groundwork or offering solutions. She spends much of the book detailing the failures of most industries to diversify, while claiming they are diverse. Many of these industries are actually less diverse than they were thirty years ago. Newkirk's implicit antidote is affirmative action, which she assumes her audienc 4/10 This subject matter and core of the book is important, and the need for diversity is something I can stand firmly behind, however, Newkirk capitalizes on the problem without doing groundwork or offering solutions. She spends much of the book detailing the failures of most industries to diversify, while claiming they are diverse. Many of these industries are actually less diverse than they were thirty years ago. Newkirk's implicit antidote is affirmative action, which she assumes her audience understands entirely and already agrees with, and see's no reason to supply even a perfunctory justification. If affirmative action was universally agreed upon, she would not need to advocate for it. Far from that however, the definition is not even universally agreed upon, allowing all groups to imbue it with their own meaning and argue against that scarecrow. For instance, many on the right view it skeptically as an opportunity for under qualified candidates to get positions based on their race. This it is not, but Newkirk fails to even mention that there is legitimate concern about the means used to achieve diversity, and so paints a stark picture of the good guys, who seek diversity, and the bad guys, who block it. Little of life is ever so simple, so I guess I just wish she delved more into the work, as this book was largely history, with little theory or legitimate argument. I therefore wonder what the point was, besides perhaps preaching to the choir or personal accolades. She does end with the story of Coke, who was formerly the subject of a high profile lawsuit related to lack of diversity before reforming. Even in this however, it is unclear if Newkirk sees this as a model worth replicating, or a warning to avoid their initially bad track record. Overall this work was lack in any dynamism or novel research, and failed to push the field in any meaningful direction.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Royal

    The thesis is that despite spending millions of dollars a year on corporate diversity initiatives, corporations do not look much more "diverse" than when they began them. Diversity initiatives are focused on anti-bias training rather than setting clear policies that achieve results. The metrics for achieving "diversity" seem to boil down to a corporation's racial composition equaling the general population. Different subsets used in no particular order: corporation population, distribution up the The thesis is that despite spending millions of dollars a year on corporate diversity initiatives, corporations do not look much more "diverse" than when they began them. Diversity initiatives are focused on anti-bias training rather than setting clear policies that achieve results. The metrics for achieving "diversity" seem to boil down to a corporation's racial composition equaling the general population. Different subsets used in no particular order: corporation population, distribution up the corporate hierarchy, board population. No better metrics are suggested. No path to achieving these or other metrics are suggested; just general discontentment with the current system. Behavior in the C-suite has been bad among even supposedly woke tech companies, but when a communications officer uses the "N" word, little is done except an apology, and possible sacking. While I'm certainly not an expert, I would suggest anonymously polling existing minority groups in the company for their pain points annually. Based on what is discovered, institute policies to address them within 6 months, so the next year's poll can measure the result. Additionally, define concrete goals by measuring first, creating a policy, measuring again, then correcting course as needed: 1) identify and eliminate systemic barriers to advancement, 2) institute strict corrective measures against expressions of personal prejudice, 3) identify talent pipeline bottlenecks and divert the bulk of diversity funds to unblocking them.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Locke

    Newkirk approaches the diversity industry with liberal hopes and motives and finds it wanting. She basically tries to answer this question: despite millions of invested dollars at many of the top companies and firms, why is there so little racial diversity in institutions like higher-ed, executive boards, Hollywood, and the arts? Ironically, she confirms what I think to be mostly a conservative argument - these industries give lip-service to diversity initiatives, but it's really woke-capitalism Newkirk approaches the diversity industry with liberal hopes and motives and finds it wanting. She basically tries to answer this question: despite millions of invested dollars at many of the top companies and firms, why is there so little racial diversity in institutions like higher-ed, executive boards, Hollywood, and the arts? Ironically, she confirms what I think to be mostly a conservative argument - these industries give lip-service to diversity initiatives, but it's really woke-capitalism. Diversity initiatives serve the bottom line by keeping the PR positive and avoiding costly lawsuits - it also shields a company from liberal scrutiny in other areas. As someone who's sat in some of these well-meaning training, I think Newkirk has helpfully seen through the racial pandering of the diversity business to enact meaningful change. Her suggestions at the end were pretty interesting, particularly when it comes to investing dollars in better places.

  15. 5 out of 5

    William

    Admittedly, this book wasn't what I thought it was when I started it. I thought it was going to concentrate mostly on the business of training America's workforce in the art and science of diversity, equity and inclusion. In reality, the book is a survey of the failures to diversify several industries in the United States throughout the past few decades. It also includes some success story anecdotes as well including Coca Cola (after a giant law suit 20+ years ago) and (to some extent) the Roone Admittedly, this book wasn't what I thought it was when I started it. I thought it was going to concentrate mostly on the business of training America's workforce in the art and science of diversity, equity and inclusion. In reality, the book is a survey of the failures to diversify several industries in the United States throughout the past few decades. It also includes some success story anecdotes as well including Coca Cola (after a giant law suit 20+ years ago) and (to some extent) the Rooney Rule in the NFL. I wish I could give half stars as I would make it 3.5 since it was concise and offers some good anecdotes/lessons in how NOT to go about tackling a really hard issue. Signaling and words are fine, but you need to do the work which includes a commitment from leadership of an organization, measurable goals and constant vigilance.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Shreya

    Lots of interesting data and anecdotes about failed diversity initiatives and how to build a truly diverse workforce by making drastic (and very achievable) changes to hiring practices. It is wild to me how much money companies have poured into D&I initiatives only to have stagnant results (i.e. Google spent over $250 million to increase diversity in its workforce and the percentage of Black and Hispanic Google employees has remained virtually unchanged in the past 10 years). I hope to see more Lots of interesting data and anecdotes about failed diversity initiatives and how to build a truly diverse workforce by making drastic (and very achievable) changes to hiring practices. It is wild to me how much money companies have poured into D&I initiatives only to have stagnant results (i.e. Google spent over $250 million to increase diversity in its workforce and the percentage of Black and Hispanic Google employees has remained virtually unchanged in the past 10 years). I hope to see more organizations and institutions looking at successful models the author mentioned to champion and hire underrepresented minorities. We’re long overdue for change and just having “diversity initiatives” in place without clear results is unacceptable.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Luke V

    Clearly shows that diversity initiatives haven't achieved much of anything in previous decades, particularly in examined sectors (Hollywood, higher education, and a bit on journalism). But I expected more focus on why exactly the diversity industry has failed, and I didn't get that (other than a brief suggestion at the end that it's all whitewashing to protect against lawsuits). Who are the consultants making money in this area? What do they have to say for themselves? That's what I'd like to kn Clearly shows that diversity initiatives haven't achieved much of anything in previous decades, particularly in examined sectors (Hollywood, higher education, and a bit on journalism). But I expected more focus on why exactly the diversity industry has failed, and I didn't get that (other than a brief suggestion at the end that it's all whitewashing to protect against lawsuits). Who are the consultants making money in this area? What do they have to say for themselves? That's what I'd like to know more about. I guess the lesson is that it's all of our jobs to make our workplace and world more diverse, inclusive and equitable, which I agree with, and the book provides the data to help me justify further action.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dadao

    I first thought the book is about how the billion-dollar diversity industry—consultancy, certificates, training, etc.—fails to meaningfully address discrimination and prejudice. That was the reason I read the book, as the book title and subtitle indicates in my understanding. (Well, to be fair, the last two chapters do touch some of my interests.) However, as a whole, it turns out that the author has a different idea of "diversity industry" for the book, which seems to refer to diversity issues I first thought the book is about how the billion-dollar diversity industry—consultancy, certificates, training, etc.—fails to meaningfully address discrimination and prejudice. That was the reason I read the book, as the book title and subtitle indicates in my understanding. (Well, to be fair, the last two chapters do touch some of my interests.) However, as a whole, it turns out that the author has a different idea of "diversity industry" for the book, which seems to refer to diversity issues and efforts in various industries, something that has been written extensively (and probably better) in other places.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bryn

    So, the rating is probably overly harsh. I had already bought into the book's thesis--that our diversity efforts in this nation are largely lip-service--before I started reading it, so the cataloging of the failure to achieve diversity across many industries felt repetitive and un-enlightening to me. I was hoping to get some ideas for our Town's D&I Taskforce, but there was no "self-help" guide or sentiments in the book. If you're not sure why D&I initiatives are necessary, this might be a 4-sta So, the rating is probably overly harsh. I had already bought into the book's thesis--that our diversity efforts in this nation are largely lip-service--before I started reading it, so the cataloging of the failure to achieve diversity across many industries felt repetitive and un-enlightening to me. I was hoping to get some ideas for our Town's D&I Taskforce, but there was no "self-help" guide or sentiments in the book. If you're not sure why D&I initiatives are necessary, this might be a 4-star for you. If you've already bought into the need for true D&I in our nation, I'd skip this one.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Miguel

    Based on the title alone I thought that this would be more focused on what was finally covered in the last chapter of the book which touches on the diversity business. That is, seemingly most companies in the corporate world have a trove of diversity consultants and it would have been interesting to have seen this explored in more depth. However, the majority of the book is dedicated to discussing different fields (i.e., an entertainment chapter, a sports chapter, a corporate chapter) and addres Based on the title alone I thought that this would be more focused on what was finally covered in the last chapter of the book which touches on the diversity business. That is, seemingly most companies in the corporate world have a trove of diversity consultants and it would have been interesting to have seen this explored in more depth. However, the majority of the book is dedicated to discussing different fields (i.e., an entertainment chapter, a sports chapter, a corporate chapter) and address how diversity has been largely absent in these areas. Overall informative.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

    You will learn about how the Diversity Industry ($8 billion industry) fails to reduce racism and to diversify the workplace. You will learn about the increasing body of literature that reveals how diversity training (applied though a corporate, HR model) actually worsens biases, and mainly acts as an insurance policy against Discrimination Lawsuits (Coca-Cola, Texaco) and how it is used as a tool to prevent unionization. At the end of the book, the author provides strategies that have proven to You will learn about how the Diversity Industry ($8 billion industry) fails to reduce racism and to diversify the workplace. You will learn about the increasing body of literature that reveals how diversity training (applied though a corporate, HR model) actually worsens biases, and mainly acts as an insurance policy against Discrimination Lawsuits (Coca-Cola, Texaco) and how it is used as a tool to prevent unionization. At the end of the book, the author provides strategies that have proven to be effective.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    A thought provoking and well researched book on the topic of Diversity & Inclusion. By way of full transparency, I was interviewed by Professor Newkirk for this book. Her questions of me were challenging and fair, and she clearly wanted to get deep underneath the topic and how it played out in Corporate America, and this book gets it right. It will no doubt upset some folks in the D&I arena, but the impressive compendium of facts and data she lays out makes for a powerful compelling argument.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Anne

    picked this up for personal and professional reasons, author does a GREAT job supporting the narrative with hard data without causing analysis paralysis. From my personal HR experience, we often don’t have a seat on the table and/or leaders don’t value the HR side of the business and some HR people just don’t care. This profession has to do better.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Chacha

    Feeling unseen, cringed at some of the terms used to define Hispanic people from "assumed" Spanish speaking countries, the lack of just Native acknowledgement in the effort to "diversify" and honor history...but I'd read the book again, and recommend it to those doing or trying to explain the struggle of EDI work. Feeling unseen, cringed at some of the terms used to define Hispanic people from "assumed" Spanish speaking countries, the lack of just Native acknowledgement in the effort to "diversify" and honor history...but I'd read the book again, and recommend it to those doing or trying to explain the struggle of EDI work.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Boselovic

    I thought this book was pretty good. I loved the variety of businesses it covered and was particularly interested in the various studies. At times it felt repetitive, but I can away from the book seeing more of the obvious ways in which our businesses in America still do not have an equitable construct.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Lavelle

    This book is really interesting. I think that there are a lot of us that support ways to make workplaces more inclusive and open, but a lot of times, the policies themselves don't work. Newkirk provides some good suggestions for ways to make these policies more effective and address the root cause of these problems. This book is really interesting. I think that there are a lot of us that support ways to make workplaces more inclusive and open, but a lot of times, the policies themselves don't work. Newkirk provides some good suggestions for ways to make these policies more effective and address the root cause of these problems.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Theodore Kinni

    5 stars for exposing the fact that decades of lip service to diversity and inclusion in business, media, academia, and sports have left us pretty much where we started in Lyndon Johnson's Great Society. 3 stars for the prescriptive advice for getting beyond it. 5 stars for exposing the fact that decades of lip service to diversity and inclusion in business, media, academia, and sports have left us pretty much where we started in Lyndon Johnson's Great Society. 3 stars for the prescriptive advice for getting beyond it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    The book was very informative, though at times I felt the same information was repeated. This might have been for emphasis, but after a while I felt the book could have been shorter. Overall, though, would recommend.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Grant

    An important read that deep dives into diversity. Some examples shown are better than others but does get a little shallow when talking about the NFL. Although it’s accurate it needed to be a little more in depth with its data at times.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Moorea

    I would’ve loved for this book to have a few more chapters- it barely hit the surface and didn’t feel fully fleshed out. Still, a helpful guide to discrimination in 20th/21st century corporate America.

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