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The Backlash: Moving the Needle on DEI in a Time of Opposition


Course Description
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) rose to prominence after the racial reckoning of 2020 and companies pledged to do more and make real strides against discrimination and bias. Like all attempts at change, the movement for meaningful equity in the workplace and society has been met with fierce backlash that is exacerbated by a highly polarized society. But just because there is backlash doesn’t mean that the problems aren’t real. Companies must maintain – and even increase – their commitment to DEI to win the next generation of talent. This course will provide an overview of the current state (how we got here), a review of how to define DEI in clear business terms, elements of an effective DEI program that will withstand legal scrutiny, and strategies for dealing with challenges or pushback – from leaders and employees. We will present real world examples and provide a chance for attendees to ask the questions they’ve been too afraid to ask.

Learning Outcomes
By the end of this course, you should be able to:
  • Describe how to anchor their DEI strategy to measurable business outcomes
  • Craft a meaningful DEI strategy that can withstand political and cultural scrutiny
  • Speak to the concerns leaders and employees have, and move people from resistant or skeptical to supporter and enthusiast

Duration: 60 minutes
Closed Caption: English


  • Margot Phillips

    Margot Phillips is the Head of Diversity and Inclusion for North America at Ericsson. She is responsible for developing and managing the implementation of a multinational diversity and inclusion strategy, coaching leaders on inclusive best practices, and building meaningful partnerships that support the growth and development of diverse talent. Prior to joining Ericsson, Margot worked as a Strategic Initiatives Manager and DEI Business Partner at Meta. Previously, she worked for several years in management consulting, supporting public and private organizations in leadership development programs, DEI and Human Capital strategy, and change management. Before entering consulting, Margot served as a senior policy aide in the US Senate and as a Presidential Management Fellow in the Executive Office of the President. Margot is a proud veteran of the US Navy, where she served as a Surface Warfare Officer from 2005 - 2012. Margot is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, holds an MA in Strategic Planning from the US Naval War College, and is pursuing her MS in Organizational Leadership from Quinnipiac University. She lives in Vermont with her husband and son.

September 18, 2024
Wed 10:00 AM CDT

Duration 1H 0M

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