Chapter 1

Diversity Fatigue and the Unfulfilled Promise of Diversity

A couple of years ago I met with two dozen leading diversity practitioners to identify some of the toughest challenges they were facing. Among the usual responses, such as lack of leadership buy-in, no effective outreach strategies and challenges empowering employee network groups, there was a new theme. It was a theme that eventually seemed to dominate the entire discussion, yet none of us could quite put our finger on it. Finally someone said, “Our organization is facing diversity fatigue.” That was it: diversity fatigue.

What, you may well ask, is diversity fatigue? It encompasses several things, including the Herculean effort required by diversity practitioners to keep ...

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