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So why is EDI an inevitable disappointment?

Did the board get bored with Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), did senior management get distracted, did the workforce never really embrace it or was it always seen as HR led rather than operationally driven?
So what happened to EDI? It was a priority, there were grand statements of intent, action plans, recruitment targets and unconscious bias awareness sessions? Did we run out of energy or get distracted? Was it much harder than we thought? Did the board think they had done all that could reasonably be expected. Did management lose heart when all that effort showed so little return?
Distracted by the reorganisation, preoccupied with the efficiency drive and implementing new working practices , then there was the arrival of a new chief executive and the departure of champions at all levels (not just Senior management) but maybe the fact that it was HR led rather than operationally driven explains the lack of progress.
It seems from experience that organisations or the people who run them can only cope with one set of priorities at a time. Is something still a priority if other things become a priority? Making the organisation match the ethnic profile of the community it served was a priority. So was effectively addressing the issues of bullying, sexism, racism and homophobia all part of making a more inclusive organisation. At the same time trying to introduce a more compassionate management style and making a reality of the commitment to the mental health and wellbeing of employees. Inevitably changing the way people think and behaviour with in the organisation.
Hitting recruit targets for black and minority ethnic groups and having more women in senior management posts may be an indicator of progress towards EDI or it may simply disguise the continued presence of racism and misogyny. As the turnover in black employees and the reports of women indicate the culture has not changed.
As an experienced HR professional recently said if there is a culture of misogyny within an organisation then much else will be wrong. The statement is equally true if you are talking about racism , homophobia, any form of prejudice and discrimination since these things are not conducive to inclusion or good management.
To make a reality of EDI HR need to keep the board interested, the senior management team focused, the workforce engaged and operations firmly in the driving seat. It’s not surprising they don’t always succeed.

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