DEI at Work: The Familiar Life Cycle

Employees responded mostly positively to the first part of this note. But Hansson went further, taking exception to the use of the pyramid of hate in a workplace discussion. He told me today that attempting to link the list of customer names to potential genocide represented a case of “catastrophizing” — one that made it impossible for any good-faith discussions to follow.

Source: 🚨 What really happened at Basecamp – Platformer

If you do any amount of DEI advocacy, you’ll run smack into claims you are “catastrophizing” at some point, usually from a straight, abled, neurotypical, white man living life at the lowest difficulty setting. Sad to see such claims coming from people I thought knew better. This attitude is the true bad-faith and makes discussion and advocacy a trudge for marginalized people.

But the idea of worker-led efforts on diversity issues got a frosty reception from the founders last year, employees told me. They were allowed to work on the project, but did not feel as if the founders were particularly invested in the outcome.

I know that feeling. Every DEI worker does.

“At the end of the day, they are not interested in seeing things in their work timeline that make them uncomfortable, or distracts them from what they’re interested in. And this is the culmination of that.”

That too is familiar.

  • Employees rally to create ERGs and do the work of DEI
  • Little to no investment from the powers that be
  • Accusations of catastrophizing from the powers that be
  • Shutting down uncomfortable but necessary discussion
  • DEI workers thoroughly demoralized

There we have it, the DEI life cycle at many companies.

Previously,

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