Private Sector Diversity Programs: Perks and Pitfalls

It is growing practice within the business community to engage in diversity initiatives in hiring, promotion, and outside contracting.  A network of interrelated state and federal laws and regulations including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and enforced by the EEOC outlaw discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, and national origin.  But it may not be clear what the law permits when it comes to discrimination on the basis of race.

Should preferences for race or sex be unlawful in the context of hiring, promotions, professional opportunities or contracting?

How should diversity and inclusion officers navigate legal precedent in this area?  Is diversity training helpful in the existing legal environment? Does functionally eliminating diversity training via government action benefit the public or create new pitfalls?  


Theodore M. Shaw, Julius L. Chambers Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Civil Rights, Uniersity of North Carolina School of Law 

Jonathan Berry, Partner, Boyden Gray & Associates 

Moderator: Hon. Paul B. Matey, Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit 


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As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.