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STUCK IN THE PAST

Why diversity initiatives fail

men dressed up as greek statues
AP Photo/Laurent Rebours
A lot of places haven't made much progress.
  • Sarah Todd
By Sarah Todd

Senior reporter, Quartz and Quartz at Work

Published

The birth of diversity and inclusion efforts in the US workplace can be traced back to the 1960s, when Title VII of the Civil Rights Act made race-based employment discrimination illegal. In the ensuing years, compliance and legal threats spurred further change in the American workplaceโ€”but so, too, did the efforts of activists, educators, and researchers to convince companies that they had both a moral and business imperative to invest in diversity.

1964: President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act into law. It includes Title VII, which bans employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, or religion.

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