Getting to Diversity: What Works and What Doesn't

  • 7h 37m 41s
  • Alexandra Kalev, Frank Dobbin
  • Recorded Books, Inc.
  • 2022

Every year America becomes more diverse, but change in the makeup of the management ranks has stalled. The problem has become an urgent matter of national debate. How do we fix it? Arguing that it's time to focus on changing systems rather than individuals, two of the world's leading experts on workplace diversity show us a better way in the first comprehensive, data-driven analysis of what succeeds and what fails. The surprising results will change how America works.

Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev draw on more than thirty years of data from eight hundred companies as well as in-depth interviews with managers. The research shows just how little companies gain from standard practice: sending managers to diversity training to reveal their biases, then following up with hiring and promotion rules, and sanctions, to shape their behavior. Almost nothing changes. It's time, Dobbin and Kalev argue, to focus on changing the management systems that make it hard for women and people of color to succeed. They show us how the best firms are pioneering new recruitment, mentoring, and skill training systems, and implementing strategies for mixing segregated work groups to increase diversity. They explain what a difference ambitious work–life programs make. And they argue that as firms adopt new systems, the key to making them work is to make them accessible to all.

About the Author

Frank Dobbin is Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences and chair of the Department of Sociology at Harvard University. His books include Inventing Equal Opportunity and The Global Diffusion of Markets and Democracy (with Beth Simmons and Geoffrey Garrett).

Alexandra Kalev is associate professor of sociology and anthropology at Tel Aviv University. Her award-winning paper "Cracking the Glass Cages?" shows how reducing segregation helps women and people of color to display their talents and move into management.

In this Audiobook

  • Introduction: A Dream Delayed
  • Chapter 1 - Rethink Diversity and Harassment Training
  • Chapter 2 - Don't Count on Rules to Stop Bias and Harassment: They Can Backfire
  • Chapter 3 - Democratize Recruitment: Cast a Wider Net
  • Chapter 4 - Open Networks Up: Mentoring, Teams, and Employee Resource Groups
  • Chapter 5 - Democratize Training: Rethink Skill, Management, and Cross-Training
  • Chapter 6 - Work-Life Help for Everyone: Flextime, Leave, and Childcare
  • Chapter 7 - Bake In Systems Change: Diversity Managers, Task Forces, and Goals
  • Conclusion: Changing Workplaces for Good