35th Annual Conference

March 27-29, 2023


DEI Statements in the Hiring and Selection Process – May it Please the Court

20-minute Trend Talk

Day 2

Session Code: TT-9
When: March 28, 2023
Level: Intermediate
Track: Critical Employment Practices
Industry Designation: Higher Education
Presenters: Amy Livingston, Labor Education Service, Carlson School of Management, UMN  |  Dr. Angela Spranger, Center for DEI in Business, Carlson School of Management, UMN
Prerequisite: Optional: working knowledge of HR / recruiting and selection processes, some employment law


Of all the things to consider, debate, and resist in 2023, we find ourselves assessing the constitutionality and appropriateness of requiring statements that address candidates’ commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (“DEI statements”) or other measures of cultural competency in the hiring process. Is it fair, just, and equitable to require candidates for different positions to state their commitment to equity and diversity in the classroom or workplace? Some scholars argue against the constitutionality of such statements, suggesting that these smack of “loyalty pledges,” or that they may violate potential labor agreements and laws.

Join our session as we posit, and provide evidence, that particularly now in an environment of reduced confidence in the Supreme Court and its protections, these statements are a valuable way to ensure that workplace culture reflects the values stated by many, if not all, corporate and nonprofit organizations.

In the higher education field, requiring a tacit understanding of the terms and concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and an ability to demonstrate them in the work environment (whether classroom, office, hallway, exterior grounds, or cafeteria) provides the leadership and guidance for employees and students alike.

Learning Outcomes:

• Identify the legal and ethical issues at stake in requiring diversity statements or other measures of cultural competency in university hiring
• Learn concrete strategies for using diversity statements and other measures of cultural competency in the university hiring process
• Obtain methods for advocating for the use of diversity statements and other measures of cultural competency in your home organizations

The Forum on Workplace Inclusion®
2211 Riverside Ave, CB 54
Minneapolis, MN 55454
(612) 373-5994

Photos by Sarah Morreim Photography
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