Diversity fatigue is affecting most work places in the U.S. According to the University of Pacific associate professor of leadership and organization development Rod Githens, the cause of recent fatigue includes a lack of transparency and the focus of diversity work on awareness-building which has been ongoing for 30 years.
Githens believes that leaders need to make systemic change to inspire employees to do the same and recommends giving inclusion and diversity leaders serious authority and influence on company politics rather than simply making them figureheads or giving them advisory roles.
Catalyst vice president of research Dnika Travis said that the diversity message should sink into the company’s culture to effect changes in the day-to-day experience of individual employees, otherwise employees will get frustrated attending diversity meetings or training.
Carolyn Broderick, member of the Society of Human Resources Professionals’ Special Expertise Panel on Diversity and Inclusion and human resource analyst, added that diversity programs should help employees feel connected to the inclusion mission and to company culture. Training that focuses on compliance and legalese tend to portray attendees as the “bad guys” and this could create a feeling of resistance among white male employees.
Giving minority employees the task of educating their white colleagues on the issue of inclusion and diversity also does not help promote and encourage an inclusive culture, and it could only help create a form of diversity fatigue.