This global study of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), encompassing the lenses of sixteen corporate executives with multi-country influence, examines efforts to address marginalization in the workplace based on identity characteristics such as race, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or ability. Othering is a global phenomenon. Corporations were awakened to the magnitude of othering, shocked into reality by the murder of George Floyd and other acts of political and social violence, including femicide, globally. The COVID-19 global pandemic further exposed the impact of marginalization seen through wide health disparities across communities. The Russian invasion of Ukraine further augmented the corporate lens, making clear that the oppression of others is a human rights violation worthy of a response. Organizations responded by creating DEI job roles and engaging in activities to foster greater inclusion and fairness in the workplace and in the nations in which they operate. Corporations are now working to create sustainable DEI and environmental social governance (ESG) programs that balance the need to respond to human rights issues with market access and profitability concerns - given the level of political polarization in communities worldwide. Through DEI and ESG initiatives, corporations have a unique opportunity to foster positive social change and economic good should they choose to. The researcher implores those with opposing viewpoints to keep an open mind - focused on finding workable solutions - not just shortcomings in approach. Through examination of the literature and review of data provided by the study’s participants, the researcher concluded that a derivative of critical race theory - critical (global) othering theory - holds promise for countering marginalization within societies and organizations globally. An additional conclusion drawn is the existence of a DEI data management continuum across firms. Labeled herein as the data collection, accountability, transparency (data CAT) continuum, companies fell along a progression of openness indicative of how assertive their DEI programs were. Consumer-oriented firms generally were more proactive in DEI implementation than tech or industrial companies. The location of the corporate headquarters also had an impact on how DEI challenges were framed. Companies wishing to benchmark against others may find this study helpful.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Diversity in the workplace; Intersectionality (Sociology); Leadership

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Martine A. Jago