Diversity Dilemma – Response 2


I understand the point you are making regarding the separation of Diversity and Inclusion from HR. I disagree based on my definition of HR. From a traditional perspective on HR where the function was largely a service provider and advocate for the employee, it might not fit. But when you define HR as the strategic manager of human capital assets, I think it’s harder to argue for the separation.

The bigger issue that you raise is that resources and support must be applied to Diversity and Inclusion efforts and I take it that you believe that HR is an obstacle in this area. I think you are letting HR off the hook too easily and possibly running away from the real issue. I agree that HR people don’t inherently understand diversity–but they should. I don’t see how a diversity and inclusion effort can succeed without HR being not only a partner, but a leader in that effort. While I agree that diversity spans beyond just the people processes of a company, the most important progress that must be made is with people and how our internal cultures, systems and processes either promote or stifle inclusion and openness. If HR can’t get it right, I am hard pressed to see another way to for the effort to be fully successful.

So, my perspective is that rather than distancing D&I from HR, we should be trying transform HR into a D&I champion and change agent. The list of competencies you shared look as much like a set of HR leadership competencies as they do Diversity and Inclusion. Maybe HR doesn’t get it yet, but they must get in order for significant progress to occur.


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