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Tue, 04 Jun


Zoom session

Unintended consequences of DEI initiatives

Despite all the best of intentions sometimes DEI activity has a negative impact - learn why, and how to avoid it

Unintended consequences of DEI initiatives
Unintended consequences of DEI initiatives

Time & Location

04 Jun 2024, 16:00 – 17:00 BST

Zoom session


About the event


While initiatives promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are essential for fostering a more equitable  and tolerant society, they may inadvertently lead to negative unintended consequences. For example, one  potential challenge is the risk of tokenism, where individuals from underrepresented groups are included  merely to fulfil diversity quotas without genuine regard for their perspectives or contributions.  Additionally, DEI efforts may inadvertently create resentment among certain groups, particularly if they  perceive these initiatives as preferential treatment. Furthermore, there's a risk of oversimplifying complex  issues related to diversity, potentially perpetuating stereotypes or overlooking intersectionality. Regular  evaluation and adaptation of DEI initiatives are crucial to address and mitigate any unintended negative  outcomes that may arise.

About our speaker

Lionel Paolella is a University Lecturer at Cambridge Judge Business School,  and an Affiliated Faculty at Harvard Law School (Center on Legal Profession).  He graduated from Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan (ENS) in France,  after which he took a MA in Sociology at Ecole des Hautes Etudes en  Sciences Sociales (EHESS), a MS in Management and Organization Science  (University Paris X), and a PhD in Strategy (HEC Paris). Before joining the  University of Cambridge, he was a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago  (Booth Graduate School of Business) in 2011, and a Chazen visiting scholar at  Columbia University (Graduate School of Business) between September 2012  and December 2013. 

Lionel currently teaches the core Strategy course and EDI modules in the MBA  curriculum, and he is also involved in Executive Education programmes on  Professional Service Firms and Strategy programmes. 

He received the Cambridge Judge Teaching Award in 2017, the MBA Faculty  Award (as voted by students) in 2018, and he has been listed among the best  40 under 40 Professors by Poets and Quants in 2019.


  • T&L ticket




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