AHP readers will be interested in a new piece in The Conversation from Kira Lussier on “What the history of diversity training reveals about its future.” As Lussier writes,
Some of the earliest forms of corporate training were mandated in response to employment discrimination lawsuits, as in a 1970s class-action lawsuit at Xerox.
Over the course of the 1960s to 1980s, corporate training broadened in scope to target employee personality traits. This time period also witnessed the ascendance of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a personality testing system that became widely used in management training as a way to understand how personality differences affected working relationships.
This diversity training aimed to teach managers a whole host of social and emotional skills necessary to manage others, including the ability to manage and mitigate conflict stemming from racial differences. Training was a part of the burgeoning “business case for diversity,” which had diversity experts and executives alike arguing that a diverse workforce provided a competitive advantage to corporations in a globalized economy.
Read the full piece here.