Abstract for: The Dynamics of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Practice Adoption

Adoption of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs has grown exponentially in last several years, even as empirical findings show that these practices have not been particularly effective at increasing the proportion of women and racial minorities in management positions. Several scholars have put forward theories on why DEI practices have not worked as intended, however this literature so far has not applied systems thinking to this knowledge gap. In this paper, I construct a conceptual model of DEI practice adoption using high quality empirical literature and argue that the problem of why DEI is not working, even under the best of intentions, is a dynamic one. Viewing this problem through a feedback lens will set the stage for future research in the area as well as allow practitioners to identify areas of strategic intervention.