The Problem: Fix the Woman/Person Approaches to Diversity

Why is this problematic?

This statement relies on a "Fix the Woman/Person" approach rather than a "Fix the Environment" approach.

What does the research say?

While some of this may be good advice or professional development that everyone can benefit from, years of research demonstrates that it will do little, if anything, to change systemic underrepresentation.

These statements ignore reasons why underrepresented groups may appear less confident or may not negotiate. They fail to recognize that sometimes these actually may be smart strategies in a system that treats these groups differently. For example, being assertive and taking charge can backfire for women, especially women of color, in some contexts.


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