We cherish our culture. Can we retain that and still achieve DEI goals?

“Vague terms such as ‘she doesn’t really fit in’ and ‘we just don’t trust her’ are often used to camouflage discomfort with someone of a nonwhite race.”

—Woman of color, large STEM organization

Leaders obsess over their company cultures, and rightly so. A study by sociologist Lauren A. Rivera found that over half of those interviewed in law firms and investment banks rated culture fit as more important than analytical or communication skills.1 More important for lawyers than analytical skills? That’s important indeed.

Culture eats strategy for breakfast, to quote famed management consultant Peter Drucker.2 I get that. The problems come when culture fit is used ...

Get Bias Interrupted now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.