Corporations fell short of their 2020 DEI promises, but strategist says it’s not too late

Dr. Lauran Star tells CultureShift that meaningful change takes time.

Hands of varying skin tones are on a table.

In the wake of Black Lives Matter protests throughout the summer of 2020, the country watched companies and corporations pledge Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for all peoples, regardless of race, class, gender or disability. In the three years that followed, a lot of those promises have come up short. What went wrong, and how can corporations right the ship?

Dr. Lauran Star is the author of the new book, “Evidence Based Inclusion; It’s Time to Focus on the Right Needle.” She says that meaningful change takes more time and commitment than just one seminar.

“Building a culture is not a one-and-done,” she says. “It’s something that is living and breathing and has to stretch and grow every year, every week, every month — and that takes a lot of work.”

Dr. Star is a corporate inclusion strategist and DEI psychologist. She holds a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, with a specialization in Inclusion, Diversity & Equity and Change. She’s also a military veteran, having served as a trauma medic in Desert Storm.

She says one of the most important aspects of DEI is making sure everyone has a seat at the table. With more than 60 years of DEI efforts in this country, Dr. Star says it’s apparent there needs to be a change to the approach if we want young people to continue seeking jobs in corporate America.

“We know that the millennial generation and the generation coming into the workforce, they want to work for an organization that is doing more than just producing a product. They want to work for an organization that has skin in the game — in the environment and the government. And if it’s not there, and it’s pretty transparent when it’s not there, they’re leaving.”

Listen to her full conversation at the player above.

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  • Tia Graham
    Tia Graham is a reporter and Weekend Edition Host for 101.9 WDET. She graduated from Michigan State University where she had the unique privilege of covering former President Barack Obama and his trip to Lansing in 2014.