Diversity training sessions have become a mainstay in professional life as a way to address concerns surrounding bias and discrimination. However, evidence supporting their effectiveness is limited at best, and indeed sometimes unintended negative outcomes can result. Drawing from the literatures on education, sociology, and psychology, we address areas where training sessions may be improved through a better understanding of how people learn. Repeated exposure of ideas, buy-in from leadership, appropriate expertise, opportunities for active engagement, and connective presentation styles (such as storytelling) are all tools available for positive change.
Mason Ameri, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Professional Practice at Rutgers Business School, Newark and New Brunswick. He specializes in managing diversity through equal opportunity for people with disabilities. His work has been profiled in more than 100 media...
Lisa M. Amoroso
Lisa M. Amoroso, PhD, is a Professor of Management at the Brennan School of Business, Dominican University. She holds the John and Jeanne Rowe Distinguished Professorship and serves as the faculty lead for the business school’s diversity and equity initiatives. She...
Terri R. Kurtzberg
Terri R. Kurtzberg, PhD, is a Professor of Management and Global Business at Rutgers Business School, Newark and New Brunswick. Her areas of expertise include negotiation strategies and persuasion tactics, electronic communication, distraction, and virtual teams. Dr...
by Nancy DiTomaso, Catrina Palmer Johnson
The burgeoning literature on gender inequality and the increasing attention to women’s leadership roles make it difficult to see the broader picture of where...
by Kristina M. Durante, Alexis Rittweger
Despite women’s gains in today’s workplace, there is still a long way to go toward gender parity. One factor contributing to inequity is social norms related to...