Insights From

Leveraging Difference

What Now in Race Work? 3 Zones of Action

The convergence of racism, economic downturns and public health crises reflect wicked problems in complex systems fraught with inequality. Enduring strains of racism play out overtly and subtly, both violently in the streets and systemically in the workplace. So what now? Laura Morgan Roberts offers three zones of action as we move forward.

Black Lives Matter and Business: A Defining Moment?

In the wake of the killing of George Floyd and national protests for racial justice, businesses and leaders are working to embrace a defining moment for racial equality.

The High Stakes of Hiring and Promoting: What You Should Be Considering

Hiring and promoting decisions can easily come down to a candidate’s abilities versus “fit,” which can be more about identity and social behavior. Darden Professor Jim Detert presents a case in point on these company-defining decisions — and the importance of looking for clues to spot and overcome implicit biases.

Q&A: When It Comes to Your Mutual Funds, Managers’ Political Beliefs Matter

The importance of a culture that respects different perspectives: What does political ideology have to do with mutual funds? Profit. Darden Professor Rich Evans’ research shows that funds managed by teams with diverse political views perform better than those with similar political beliefs. Here, he elaborates on the study and an important caveat.

Companies Innovate More When Their Boards Include Women

Corporate innovation is crucial for value creation. What does that have to do with gender diversity? A new global study shows the real influence and impact of gender diversity on boards; when it comes to greater balance, so come greater innovation outcomes. And the effects may be evident sooner than you think.

Diversity Practices: Challenges and Strategies

Years of inequality have led to lasting challenges faced by minorities in opportunities for advancement. Efforts to “manage diversity” could benefit from education about historical context, as well as contemporary experience, that lead to low inclusion. Courtney McCluney discusses challenges of diversity practices and potential solutions.

What ‘Social Class Transitioners’ Bring to the Workplace

Valuable: employees who can connect with diverse people to improve relationships, facilitate information flow and communication, increase coordination and reduce conflict. Research shows that “social class transitioners,” people who move between socioeconomic classes, can bring a special skillset to the workforce.

Race and Leadership: The Black Experience in the Workplace

Authenticity tension, lack of engagement, contested authority: These are challenges faced by black leaders. Resilience, resourcefulness, the ability to cultivate cross-race and -hierarchy connections: These are traits that give such leaders the ability to effect change. Professor Laura Morgan Roberts discusses the reality of the black experience.

How to Design for Real Race-Intelligent Inclusion

Do diversity and inclusion efforts do what they’re intended to? Professor Martin Davidson, Darden’s senior associate dean and global chief diversity officer, discusses workplace practices that encourage a culture of race-intelligent inclusion and greater understanding of the needs of black people.

Sponsoring Women in the #MeToo Era

Darden’s Martin Davidson and Lisa Cannell discuss the difference between mentoring and sponsoring women — and the importance of leveraging difference at work.