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Equality, Diversity & Inclusion


Every year the workforce in Europe, Britain, and North America becomes more diverse, but change in the makeup of the management ranks has stalled.

The problem has become a matter of heated debate.  Do we have work to do to achieve meritocracy, or are we already there?  Bestselling books preach moral reformation – eradicating employee biases.  But where anti-bias initiatives are widespread, little has changed. 

Frank Dobbin will discuss findings from his recent book with Alexandra Kalev, Getting to Diversity: What Works and What Doesn’t, which offers a comprehensive, data-driven analysis of initiatives designed to widen opportunity.  The upshot: It’s time to focus on changing systems rather than individuals. 

For managers facing public political challenges to diversity programming, this is good news in one sense, for the effective programs simply make career systems more democratic.  That’s something few object to. 

Frank Dobbin is Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences, and chair of the Department of Sociology, at Harvard. His Inventing Equal Opportunity (Princeton U. Press 2009) shows how HR managers and activists defined what it meant to discriminate in the eyes of the law, elaborating the definition over time. His Getting to Diversity: What Works and What Doesn't with Alexandra Kalev (Harvard U. Press [Belknap] 2022) looks at the effectiveness of dozens of different diversity programs, in over 800 companies across more than 30 years, to answer the questions: Which programs help, which hurt, and how can harmful programs be improved? Dobbin and Kalev are now investigating university programs designed to promote faculty diversity, using similar methods to sort out which are most effective.

17:00 - 18:00 | Refreshments available 

18:00 - 19:00 | Lecture 

19:00 - 19:30 | Drinks reception 

Book your in person place here 

Book your online place here 


Thursday, 16 May, 2024 - 18:00 to 19:00
Event location: 
Selwyn College, Quarry Whitehouse Auditorium