Increase involvement in diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives by making it a topic at regular meetings, rewarding teams that complete DEI training and requiring everyone to participate in some ongoing workshops and seminars, write clinical psychologists Stephanie Pinder-Amaker and Lauren Wadsworth. “As employees grow more accustomed to these new practices, leaders can also incentivize exceptional engagement with increased bonuses, recognition, or decreasing the workload in other domains to add more bandwidth for DEI work,” they write.



Last month, while giving a diversity-focused book talk at a Fortune 500 company’s headquarters in Washington, DC, we received a question that was all too familiar to us.We had reached the Q&A section of the talk when an employee named Marissa, who identified herself as the chair of the company’s diversity committee, stood and said: “All of these diversity-related recruitment and

collaboration suggestions sound great, and we are committed to integrating them into our practices. However, you’ll notice that despite being a massive company, there are only 15 of us at this book talk. That’s how it always is.”

“We can get as skilled as we want as a group of 15 people that self-selected into this committee, but sometimes it feels like we’re preaching to the choir,” she continued. “Will we really be able to change the culture of this company if the same people are the only ones in these spaces, time and time again?”

As Marissa asked her question, we felt a collective sigh—both among ourselves and externally, as frustration rippled across the room. We’ve both felt this within our own organizations, and we’ve experienced it in almost every company we’ve worked with:

The same small group of dedicated folks, committed to improving the culture of their company, show up week after week, do the work, and lose hope in the face of widespread indifference.Even when diversity trainings are required, the divide between the so-called “choir” and the “congregation”—those who are engaged and those who are just there because they have to be—is palpable.