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Diversity Beyond Tokenism

Diversity Beyond Tokenism
Why Being Politically Correct Doesn’t Help Anyone

July 2021 | 308 pages | SAGE Response
Beyond the standard black and white clichés of tokenism, this one-of-its-kind book echoes the mantra of today’s contemporary workplace. Breaking down the biases and the myths, this book advocates that diversity should be a conscious business choice and not just a politically correct mandate to follow. For those who wish to pursue the diversity agenda, this book will make them consider diversity from a much deeper lens and implement it in a manner that will enable business, instead of just a good-to-do initiative.
Foreword by Sairee Chahal
Foreword by Ravi Venkatesan
An Ideological Echo Chamber
Does Diversity Really Help Business?
Dissent and Diversity
Discrimination and Diversity
Equal, Not Same
Women in Senior Management
Bias Is Pervasive
Beyond Tolerance
Rewiring for Diversity

Diversity beyond Tokenism is the best book on diversity that you’ll find. It’s the first time that I see an open, honest and objective approach about such a complex and difficult topic. It gives a unique perspective to most of the common doubts and questions we have about diversity and makes us think and reflect about them with a different mindset. Its holistic and deep analysis on how organizations should think and act about diversity is bold and outstanding. It’s a must-read for every leader.

Miriam Manrique
General Manager, Uber, Central America

A courageous and incisive attempt at breaking down the dogmas and myths surrounding diversity and inclusion (D&I) and constructing a positive argument using the inherently contradictory strains in this field. I would recommend this as a reading in business schools, to understand what constitutes D&I and how one can truly build inclusive organizations. As HR professionals, this book forces us to look at practices within our organizations that provide mere lip-service to the concept of diversity. It goads us towards deeper questions, which, when answered truthfully, would lead us to build cultures and organizations which are truly inclusive. An extremely thought-provoking, oftentimes discomforting, but supremely pertinent piece of corporate writing.

Aditya Vellore
Chief of Staff, Intel, Greater Asia

‘D&I’ is an important mantra of the contemporary workplace. In this provocative book, Swati and Hari go beyond the standard cliches to explore the why and how of D&I. You may or may not agree with them, but this is an important read for anyone involved with diversity, which is just about all of us.

Rishikesha T. Krishnan
Director, IIM Bangalore

There is a lot spoken about diversity these days, but here is a book that makes you sit up and reflect. It questions our assumptions and points out our biases and beliefs that we are living with, which can truly impede diversity. The book explores a variety of issues on diversity in the Indian context, and I am sure that you, like me, will come out with renewed commitment to diversity and not mere tokenism.

Krish Shankar
Group HR Head, Infosys and President, NHRD, India

Scholarly, forthright and written with a journalistic rigour—finally we have a book that is not another ‘me-too’ on this important subject of building diverse and inclusive societies and workplaces. I highly recommend it.

Dushyant Goyal
Director HR, Novartis, US

Swati Jena and T. N. Hari make Diversity beyond Tokenism an easy-to-read book. They have made the understanding of diversity simple but not simplistic. The book is well-researched with ample references making the overall point that diversity is not just about gender but dealing with multiplicity of viewpoints. I especially liked the quick summary at the end of each chapter by way of ‘big ideas’. Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable read and something for keeps in the long term.

Raj Raghavan
Senior Vice President and Head of Human Resources, Indigo Airlines

The lethal duo of Swati and Hari, courtesy this book, has debunked innumerable politically correct myths and left a trail of realization in their wake. Reading and reflecting on their brilliantly presented and forthright perspectives, one is overcome with a strong sense of subliminal resonance to relate seamlessly with the ‘big ideas’. I believe this book will provide the muchneeded pivot in re-calibrating mindsets across organizations.

Rohit Manucha

As a French woman engineer, daughter of an Algerian immigrant and CEO of one of the first women-led open innovation agencies in India, I am utterly aware of the devastating effect of the drivel that leaves the topic of diversity misconstrued. The book Diversity beyond Tokenism cuts through the clutter and boldly addresses the various subthemes underlying this topic. The book is a combination of rigour and storytelling. The key takeaways (the big ideas) at the end of every chapter serve as ready reckoner for a practitioner. I found the book insightful and thoroughly enjoyable. I would recommend this strongly to anyone interested in deconstructing this complex topic.

Souad Tenfiche
CEO, Link Innovations

Swati and Hari have unlocked a much-needed dialogue around the true meaning of diversity. They capture issues realistically and raise pertinent questions. The two most powerful ideas put forward are ‘equal but not same’ and the ‘mindset of no’. A must-read for those who desire to bring about a change in and around themselves.

Smitu Malhotra
Associate Dean, Student Affairs (Women students) and Ex-Chairperson of Committee Against Sexual Harassment (CASH) at XLRI, Jamshedpur

Fascinating, provocative and insightful book; it speaks to the reader’s head, heart and soul! Highly engaging and fresh perspective from non-experts, taking a rational look at some of the well-renowned D&I research studies and the root causes of inequality in the corporate and civilized world. References from history, mythology, evolution, education, government, legal system, arts, business, society and the universe are thought-provoking. A must-read for leaders, D&I beginners, enthusiasts and practitioners who want to build a resilient and future-proof organization.

Monika Navandar
Global D&I Expert, NeoSeven Solutions

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ISBN: 9789391370633