5 Common Reasons DEI Efforts Fail

… and what you can do about it

What we see across a variety of industries, businesses and teams is the same reasons for the failure of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Why? Because the same mistakes are being made. Fortunately, this creates a tried and tested playbook for what not to do when it comes to DEI.

Pitfall 1: Lack of a focused approach

Often when organisations don’t know where to start or haven’t properly considered which actions may best serve the outcomes they are trying to achieve, their default is to try everything to see what works. But the jack of all trades is the master of none. A “cover all bases” approach can dilute impact and should instead be prioritised, strategic and focused.

Pitfall 2: Zero integration with other business units

This usually culminates from DEI being treated as a “HR issue”, rather than holistically and cross-functionally across the business. The most successful initiatives, in any respect, are those that are properly integrated with other business units

Pitfall 3: Leadership team isn’t personally ‘bought in’

If the senior leadership team isn’t bought in or doesn’t see the value in driving progress, they will resist to the change rather than encouraging it. Consecutively, if their buy-in is surface-level and tokenistic, it will undermine true progress.

Pitfall 4: Not elevating DEI function appropriately

How is DEI framed and perceived in your organisation? The answer to this will directly impact how effective efforts are.

Pitfall 5: Prioritising action, not impact

Impact is minimised when the focus is on what is going to be done, rather than what is intended to be achieved.

Would you like to speak to one of our diversity, equity and inclusion specialists about your DEI challenges and strategy to overcome them? Get in touch here.

Access the symptoms of each pitfall and how to overcome them below.

Access Insights


Check out what we’ve been up to and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram