Why are diversity gains suddenly falling flat? Daniel Oppong, founder of diversity, equity, and inclusion consultancy The Courage Collective, blames “unfulfilled promises, shortsighted strategies and fears of an impending recession.”
“‘Whiplash’ is exactly what happens when organizations espouse DEI values on the outside, but fail to operationalize and prioritize said values on the inside,” he says. “At its best, the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion can yield transformative organizational outcomes, but at its worst, DEI work can devolve into a series of performative platitudes that erode trust and disappear once public pressure subsides.”
So the best way to not lose gains is also the simplest: Don’t deprioritize DEI progress. These efforts still matter even when your fortunes no longer look as strong or there’s less public scrutiny.