Scott Hoesman on DEI backlash

Industry leaders discuss business disability inclusion at the 2023 Disability:IN Conference

There is DEI fatigue and backlash, according to Scott Hoesman, CEO, inQUEST Consulting – a firm that works with clients to “think, lead, and interact inclusively.”

WorkingNation sat down with Hoesman at the 2023 Disability:IN Conference in Orlando.

“We’re at a pivot point with DEI fatigue and the concerns that many organizations have about what they’re viewing as an overemphasis or the pendulum swinging too far for historically marginalized groups like people with disabilities. I think we need to pay attention to that.”

Hoesman explains, “I think we’re going to have some organizations that say, ‘We are going to double down and continue our efforts, and we’re all in.’”

“We’re going to have some organizations who take a more neutral stance and a wait-and-see approach that they’re not going to be overt in their activities, their actions, their resource allocations. They’re going to take a little bit of a standoff approach. I think we’ve got others that are going to retract completely out of fear.”

Hoesman says conversations need to include varying opinions. “In our organizations, we have to have fully inclusive conversations that capture the viewpoints of all of our employees, all of our leaders – and not just be inclusive for those who agree with our agenda.”

He continues, “I think we need to do a better job of hearing who’s not under that umbrella with us and is there something we need to do? Not that we need to carry the full onus or responsibility on our shoulders, but I do think we have the responsibility to have a different message and to invite people to the table.”

Learn more about inQUEST Consulting.