Vanguard's Diversity Training Seminar Targets 'White Men'


If you’ve spent any time in corporate America in the last 30 years, chances are you’ve had to sit through a diversity training seminar. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to attend one, but for a long time, these seminars were anodyne affairs that stressed the need for everybody of all races, sexes, and creeds to get along.


Not anymore. Now that the intersectional grievance-mongers have perfected their craft, the modern diversity seminar is about pitting the oppressors against the oppressed while the consultants rake in the big bucks.

Vanguard, one of the nation’s largest asset management companies, which oversees $7 trillion in assets, recently held one of these seminars as part of its efforts to “create an inclusive and equitable work environment that reflects a diverse community of talents.” The July 19 session, which featured consultant Laura Sherbin, was titled “The Critical Lever: Engaging White Male Managers in Advancing Diversity & Inclusion.”

If you look closely at the title, you can see the crux of the issue: the seminar is about getting white men to fall in line with the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) phenomenon.

And it was a doozy.

“Unless you are actively including, you are likely accidentally excluding,” Sherbin told the in-person and virtual audience of 2,000 employees, with Vanguard’s CEO sitting on the front row. Of course, “including” and “excluding” are both subjective statements that live in the eye of the beholder.


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Sherbin also told those in attendance that her intent in the seminar was “really ensuring” that “white men, white male managers, are actively included in the DEI conversation.” In other words, it wasn’t about making sure everybody plays along with the program — just the white men.

The consultant made the case that white men in management want to buy into DEI initiatives but don’t know how — as if DEI were some easily quantifiable effort that everyone but white men understands by default.

Sherbin did go out of her way to point out that she didn’t intend to “superimpose an identity … on the white males who participated.” Whatever. If that were really true, she wouldn’t have singled out white men.

When it comes to DEI, Sherbin said that Vanguard needs to establish “clarity on how both senior leaders and middle managers will and should be held accountable” including “performance management process and feedback channels” to ensure that employees white men behave in a sufficiently woke manner.

Sherbin went out of her way to address her belief that white men need to do better at taking criticism “even if it’s uncomfortable” and figure out “how to engage and interrupt bias, exclusion, and microaggressions.”


But again, it’s only white men who need to do all these things. Women and minorities are apparently A-OK and don’t have to worry about anything.

Not only that, but the DEI agenda is a constantly moving target. No matter what white men — or anyone else — in management does, it’ll never be enough. And what works for today won’t work tomorrow, so everyone will need to learn new DEI standards and hire another consultant to explain it all, of course

With a whopping $7 trillion in assets under Vanguard’s watch, chances are someone you know is part of a Vanguard fund. It may not be easy to speak out, but the more we can point out the ridiculousness of DEI initiatives, the more people will hear it. And maybe then we can see some change.



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