Heated Headlines:

Addressing DEI Backlash Executive Briefing

Thursday, February 15 • 12pm ET • Virtual

Screenshots of Anti-DEI headlines

Strategies for Overcoming Resistance to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts

In today's hyper-charged corporate landscape, embracing DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) is becoming more and more challenging. From Elon Musk and Bill Ackerman vehemently advocating for the “death” of DEI to law firms advertising class action lawsuits to attract “victims” of DEI initiatives this executive briefing will tackle the growing DEI backlash head-on, equipping you with the knowledge and tools to navigate this complex terrain.

You’ll discover:

  • The root causes of DEI backlash: Understand the underlying anxieties, biases, and misconceptions fueling resistance to DEI initiatives.
  • Effective counter-narratives: Learn to address common concerns and objections with data-driven insights and persuasive arguments.
  • The key to building bridges, not walls: Discover strategies to foster open dialogue, promote empathy, and build consensus around the value of DEI.
  • Ways to empower yourself and your allies: Equip yourself with communication tools and tactics to advocate for DEI and champion inclusive practices within your organization.

Key Takeaways:

  • DEI backlash is real, but it's not insurmountable. Understanding its drivers is the first step towards overcoming resistance and building a more inclusive workplace.
  • Communication is key. Open dialogue, active listening, and clear messaging are essential for addressing concerns and building trust around DEI initiatives.
  • Build a coalition of champions—partner with leaders and allies inside and outside your organization to create a critical mass of support for DEI efforts.
  • Continuous learning and adaptation are crucial. Be prepared to refine your approach based on feedback and evolving organizational dynamics.

Who should attend:

  • Executives questioning the value of their DEI programs.
  • Leaders seeking to understand and address employee concerns regarding DEI.
  • HR professionals, diversity and inclusion leaders, and anyone championing DEI initiatives within their company.

This executive briefing will equip you with the knowledge and skills to navigate the complexities of DEI resistance and build a more diverse and inclusive future for your organization.

Meet the Speaker

Shelley Willingham, CDE

Chief Revenue Officer, The Diversity Movement

Shelley is a serial entrepreneur and business strategist with more than 20 years of corporate and small business experience. In 2003, Shelley founded the National Organization for Diversity in Sales and Marketing (NODSM), a company focused on helping corporate America recognize the increasing purchasing power of diverse segments and helping them market to these groups without using stereotypes or being offensive. In 2006 she partnered with FORTUNE magazine on a special diversity section highlighting her work in this space. Shelley speaks at various business events and conferences, coaches and consults aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners, and is a frequent on-air contributor to CNBC. Shelley is a Certified Diversity Executive and leads the client acquisition strategy and execution while supporting each of the TDM business units in the development of their respective strategies.

Shelley Willingham headshot