New York, NY – The demand for greater diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace has never been higher. Companies spend as much as $8 billion a year on diversity and inclusion training. Still, the challenges remain complex. But those same companies now know that DEI — diversity, equity and inclusion — is about more than policies and programming.

Ben Kimmel.

According to published reports, the hiring of chief diversity & inclusion officers saw the biggest gains — soaring over 110-percent as a share of all hires between September 2020 and August 2021. That’s faster than the prior year’s tempo when hiring of chief diversity officers soared more than 84-percent. 

So what does this mean?

On a personal level, it means that more than fundamental racism and critical race theory is being addressed in the workplace. It demonstrates a drive to create a better sense of accord amongst employees. This effort is about more than skin color, gender or any other form of identity politics. This is a movement to teach people how to work together. 

Work environments with strong DEI programs and training initiatives have an improved sense of comfort, productivity, participation and engagement in the workspace. DEI programs build a greater sense of unity amongst coworkers — and with education being the key to the equation of better understanding — DEI programs lead to more culturally aware teams capable of producing at higher levels. 

I see this as a great opportunity to form safe alliances with our co-workers and to be certain that fair treatment is extended to everyone in the workplace. 

As a parent, I also greet the rise of DEI programs with a certain sense of assurance that my daughter is heading in the right direction, and that as a biracial child, the trajectory of her future career will be safe and plentiful. Furthermore, as a man of a certain age moving towards exciting new career goals — I look forward to my choices being free of age discrimination and age biases. 

There are many forms of inequity in the workplace. To me, DEI programs are a strong move towards safeguarding ourselves from discrimination of any kind. If nothing else, at least proper training and DEI support will teach us what to do when we encounter it.

Ben Kimmel is a proud member of the IUOE Local 94, as well as an Author, Writer on, Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Certified Addiction and Recovery Coach, Certified Professional Life Coach, and Peer & Wellness Advocate.  Ben can be reached at


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