The Death of Expertise

Here’s some stuff we know about the DE&I industry according to Global News Wire:

  • The global DE&I market is valued at $9 billion in USD in 2023
  • The United States DE&I market generated $4 billion in revenue in 2022
  • The total DE&I market is projected to be valued at $30 billion in USD by 2033
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 610,454 consultants of various backgrounds are currently employed in the United States.

Now, here’s some stuff we don’t know about the DE&I industry:

  • Just how many DE&I consultants are there? The Bureau of Labor Statistics and others that track industry employment doesn’t provide a breakdown of those in DE&I consulting, which makes getting precise figures challenging.

But, in some ways, this data points to a bigger question: why are there so many Diversity Consultants?

Pretty easy to answer.

In recent years, the demand for diversity consultants has been on the rise. But why is it a problem that so many people claim to be DE&I experts?

  • Lack of expertise: Not everyone who claims to be a diversity and inclusion consultant has the necessary expertise or qualifications to provide you with effective guidance. Without proper experience, individuals or organizations may offer generic advice that lacks depth or may provide advice that is not based on evidence or best practices.
  • No barrier to entry: Anyone with a business card can say they’re a DE&I consultant. The rise in the number of consultants also means potentially bad quality expertise or increased competition for your business. If you believe as we do that the market is saturated, that makes it challenging for you to distinguish between high-quality consultants that offer sustained, long-term solutions and those that focus on quick-fix solutions or surface-level interventions.
  • Lack of accountability: The lack of regulation in the industry means that anyone can claim to be a diversity and inclusion consultant, regardless of their qualifications or experience. This lack of accountability can lead to individuals providing advice that is harmful or ineffective, without any repercussions.
  • Being all things to all people: We live in an era of specialization, and companies with crystal-clear and superior value propositions are the ones that provide the most value. Think Amazon, Whole Foods, Netflix, and Apple, each is known for something and dominates their respective market. There are between 15-20 service offerings in the DE&I space. Do we really believe that any one individual or organization can be excellent at all of them? When one specializes, you’re able to provide your target market with a superior value proposition over companies that generalize.

It’s important for you to understand what you’re trying to solve before deciding on a partner. Additionally, you may need to engage several providers to address your unique business challenges.

An honest broker will tell you what they’re good at, be able to demonstrate it and help you find others with expertise that you may need.

Want to learn more about GVC? Contact us today >

Greg Almieda is the Founder & CEO of GVC, an inclusion business strategy firm.

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