Learning from Uber’s DEI setback: Why structure, collaboration matter

Uber building

Many organizations vow to be champions of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Yet, a public commitment to fight racism is only the first step up an Everest-like climb.

Beneath the physical and emotional labor of DEI initiatives, there is an unyielding demand for humility. Organizational leaders must be willing to reorient the corporate culture to adopt a learning posture and change the power structure. To white employees living in a white-dominant culture, that demand feels as comfortable as hugging a cactus.

And when major corporations like ride-hailing company Uber make headlines for bungling a DEI initiative, their cautionary tale frightens wary companies into stagnation. It feels safer to stand at the base of the climb than to scale it and tumble back down.

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