NEWS AND INSIGHTS UPDATE:
Diversity training formally debuted in the 1960s to ensure companies were policy compliant and protecting themselves. That’s according to the history of diversity training timeline from Elizabeth Lisican of Diversity Executive. In the 50 years that followed, diversity training shifted from reactive to proactive, but much still needs to be done.
Following are several highlights from the diversity training timeline from Diversity Executive:
1977: A U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission consent decree with Duquesne Light Co. requires the company to provide EEO training to its managers as a result of alleged discrimination against blacks and women.
1979: McDonald’s Corp. begins its Women’s Career Development program. It is the first of many diversity training and development programs at the company.
1987: International think tank Hudson Institute publishes the “Workforce 2000” report, which accurately predicts the changes in the American workforce by the year 2000 and introduces the term “workforce diversity.” Corporations begin to consider assimilating the growing numbers of women and minorities entering corporate America as a major motivator for diversity training.
1996: Harvard Business School faculty members David Thomas and Robin Ely publish “Making Differences Matter: A New Paradigm for Managing Diversity,” in the Harvard Business Review. The report addresses the learning and effectiveness aspects of diversity training. At this point diversity training is considered a best practice and the concept of “inclusion” joins the conversation.
2007: According to a New York Times survey of 265 HR professionals and diversity specialists from companies with 10,000 employees, 55 percent of participants report having a diversity department, and more than 80 percent report mandatory or voluntary diversity training for all levels of employees.
2008: Led by University of Arizona sociologist Alexandra Kalev, researchers review 31 years of data from 830 mid- to large-sized U.S. companies and find that mandatory diversity training programs are often followed by “declines in the number of women, African-Americans, Latinos and Asians in management positions.” Voluntary diversity training programs, however, demonstrate positive outcomes.
2012 and beyond: Cultural competency and multigenerational diversity are buzzwords when assessing the future of diversity training.
Get the details: Diversity Training: From Reactive to Proactive via diversity-executive.com