Chauvin verdict: Any impact on corporate diversity and inclusion?

Ideally not, but here’s my generalized, perhaps wholly-incorrect, train of thought.

Fear 1: Because Chauvin and Floyd was the landmark, linchpin event in a year of utter chaos all over for many, both health-wise and socially speaking, and now there’s some “resolution” of sorts to that storyline, I fear that some corporate executives will be like “Well, the Minneapolis cop got sent up the river, so are we done with this now? Do we still need to release statements on this and voting rights? Can we get back to scaling the biz and counting the cheddar?” That’s one fear.

Fear 2: Could there be a white backlash, which you already see with the uses of the word “woke” and such? Will white middle-aged dudes who run businesses think “Pfft, the cops are getting cancelled, they’re coming for us all … I’m going to double down in my HQ bunker and my 5BR house and screw all this diversity and critical race theory stuff. We ain’t buying those vendors.”

Hope 1: This is a turning point moment in its own right, and more executives go to their HR and procurement teams and say “Hey, we need to be better about these issues. How could we get some people and resources in here about diversity and inclusion? Where would we begin?”

Elephant in the room: A lot of corporate diversity training is awful. It’s a retired #HRCathy in the back of the room prattling on with 16 year-old slides. To wit:

“We found very little evidence that diversity training affected the behavior of men or white employees overall — the two groups who typically hold the most power in organizations and are often the primary targets of these interventions.”

That’s not good. So if we do more diversity programs, maybe they go against achieving the end goal? That’s not good.

Likely reality: Nothing happens inside corporate walls except for a few discussions on “both sides” of the issue, and then within a week or two, it’s KPIs as usual until sentencing, when there’s another 3–4 days of discussion, and then it’s back to task boards as usual.

Do you see any impact here?

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