The Only Black Guy In the Office
Behind the Headlines of Corporate America’s Latest Blunders
Racism, sexism — the whole nine!
The Only Black Guy In the Office is a Seattle-based, midlevel marketing manager who writes about navigating the White waters of corporate America. He’s like a modern-day Dilbert — that is, if Dilbert were Black, woke, and outspoken about the foolery, joys, and microaggressions that Black professionals experience on the daily. The Only Black Guy sounds off about his career experiences in his eponymous weekly column at LEVEL. Here, he’ll regularly chime in on the latest mishaps in white-collar corporate news as only he can — straight, with no chaser.
This just in: Diversity training doesn’t work
Remember how in the midst of last summer’s racial reckoning in America, there was a mass sweep of companies scrambling to have employees participate in DEI training? Yeah, so apparently those are about as effective as Michael Scott’s ethnicity role-play exercise from the “Diversity Day” episode of The Office.
It’s hard to Ctrl+Alt+Del away a lifetime of prejudiced thinking after watching some guy in a 90-minute video comparing racism to Santa Claus.
Not only is diversity training ineffective in removing deep-rooted bias, but it can also backfire, having an adverse effect on a company’s culture. “A lot of our research shows training makes the dominant group — usually White men — feel threatened and fearful of being excluded,” says Alexandra Kalev, a professor of social sciences at Princeton. “They fight back instead of internalizing [the training].” It makes sense. It’s hard to Ctrl+Alt+Del away a lifetime of prejudiced thinking after watching some guy in a 90-minute video comparing racism to Santa Claus — especially when that requires true self-reflection and willingness to cede one’s privilege in favor of equality.
There are better solutions to problem-solve for racism in the workplace: making diversity training voluntary for employees, creating a task force to study data around hiring and promotion trends, and offering specialized training to elevate…