Match the Reaction to the DEI Initiative

The Nova Collective   •   December 11, 2019

Happy (almost) New Year!  Let’s play a Nova game!  

It’s the end of the year – a time for celebrating with family and friends, looking forward to a fresh start in 2020, and reflecting on your accomplishments (both personal and professional) from the previous year.  

If you’ve had victories and successes this year in pushing forward DEI initiatives at work (and we know you have!), then chances are you’ve had those victories with your fair share of push back.  We know that behind every successful DEI initiative are 99 objections, detours, and incredibly frustrating devils’ advocates. (why is anyone advocating for the devil????) 

We often hear the same concerns and objections over and over again within organizations.  Of course there are very valid questions and concerns when pursuing new programs and initiatives…this is nuanced work and the companies that are getting it right are doing their due diligence. 

But there are also some reactions that come up again and again as roadblocks to true progress.  And if we’ve heard them a thousand times the odds are, so have you.  

Let’s play a fun game to ring out 2019:  see if you can match the organizational reaction to the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) initiative that prompted it!

Answer Key:  (and we’ve inserted OUR reactions to the reactions, just for fun)

Initiative:  Instituting mandates for a diverse slate of candidates in the hiring process

Organizational Reaction:   “Of course we will hire the best, most qualified person for the job, regardless of race or gender”

Our Reaction: 😒


Initiative: Women’s ERG event 

Organizational Reaction:   “Okay but when do we get International MEN’S Day, you know what I mean?”

Our Reaction: 😤


Initiative:  Unconscious Bias Training 

Organizational Reaction:   “Well isn’t it reverse-bias to accuse me of having bias?” 

Our Reaction: 🤐


Initiative:  Pursuing disability-focused partnerships and programs

Organizational Reaction:   “Obviously DEI is a top priority, we just aren’t focused on disability at the moment”

Our Reaction: 😖


Initiative:  Any program that calls out how few people of color work at the organization.  

Organizational Reaction:   “For us, DEI is really focused on ‘diversity of thought’” 

Our Reaction: 😶


Initiative:  Any program that costs money 

Organizational Reaction:  “We don’t have the budget”

Our Reaction: 😵


Fun and games aside:  you are doing important, necessary, critical work. 

And we at Nova honor you, thank you, and clench-our-jaws-scream-into-an-empty-office-and-find-just-ONE-more-piece-of-data-that-proves-our-work-is-necessary with you on this wonderful journey! 🥰