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Diversity Fatigue: How to Combat Burnout and Ensure Sustainable Equity

April 15, 2024

In the wake of widespread civil unrest in 2020, both nationally and within our own community, organizations rallied around their commitment to fostering diversity and cultivating inclusive environments. They introduced new initiatives, developed comprehensive training programs, scrutinized corporate cultures, and implemented standards aimed at promoting equity across organizations of all sizes, industries, and backgrounds.

However, as we progress into 2024, a phenomenon known as "diversity fatigue" is beginning to undermine the sustainability of these efforts. Nevertheless, revitalizing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) strategies remains crucial, as they not only bolster employee well-being, engagement, and retention but also play a pivotal role in organizational success. Presented below are several strategies to counteract organizational diversity fatigue:

  • Find measurable KPIs: Ensuring that you have a way to measure your results is important to ensure you can feel the needle moving. Setting SMARTIE goals and identifying what metrics you can use to show progress is important to reaffirm your commitment continually. Finding ways to celebrate wins is a good way to keep people interested in these efforts and buy into wanting to make a difference.
  • Affirm commitment from the top down: Organizational leaders need to publicly set the example they want to see. Ensuring that senior and middle management are modeling the inclusive and equitable behaviors they want to see from the rest of their teams.
  • Set realistic expectations: Understanding that progress can be slow is important, as is being realistic about the fact that we cannot undo hundreds of years of systematic inequality in just a few years. Organizations should clearly communicate this and use smaller wins on key metrics to maintain momentum and morale.
  • Find a balance between publicity and authenticity: While DEI work is something that should be celebrated, organizations should make sure that diversity campaigns are more than just marketing. When everything you do is publicized, it can lead to it feeling inauthentic. While talking the talk can help, it’s more important to walk the walk when it comes to ensuring equitable practices in your organization.
  • Reassess for quality content: When it comes to diversity programs, less can be more. Having a myriad of programs and time commitments for employees that feel like checkboxes instead of actually shifting mindsets can lead to burnout and damage the credibility of all DEI programs. Scaling back DEI efforts to the things that matter most can end up having a greater impact overall.


Greater Rochester Chamber members have access to DEI-related resources and support, such as DEI-related education and programming. All employees and managers at member companies are welcome to register and attend our events.  Plus, HR members can contact our HR Helpline with general HR or DEI-related questions, including requests for benchmarking data, sample policies and forms, best practices for responding to employee relations situations, etc.


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