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Corporate Diversity Stalls In Certain Fields As Racism Shapes Labor Market (VIDEO)

06/05/2013 03:00 pm ET

Diversity fatigue is one of the terms used to describe Corporate America's failure to hire and promote minorities in recent years. It's a phenomenon that The New York Times explored within the legal field last week and one that some warn could lead to a steep fall back to the nation's pre-affirmative action days, if corporate boards and hiring managers don't take heed.

While the Times points to the Great Recession as a turning point in businesses' neglect of diversity and inclusion programs, Nancy DiTomaso, Vice Dean for Faculty and Research at Rutgers Business School, says the nepotist nature of those programs may actually be to blame.

In a study conducted by the University of Washington and other universities earlier this year, psychologists also found that diversity training programs may do more harm than good, leading people to believe that work environments are fair even when given evidence of hiring, promotion or salary inequities.

“Our fear is that companies may prematurely stop thinking about diversity among their workers because they’ve credentialed themselves with these programs,” said the study's lead author, Cheryl Kaiser. “Our findings suggest that diversity programs can be window dressing -- even those that do very little to increase diversity may still be perceived as effective,” she said.

Watch HuffPost Live's discussion with Nancy DiTomaso on how racism drives the labor market in the video above and tell us what you think is driving the shift in corporate diversity in the comments section below.

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