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Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

MSB Professor Releases Book on DEI Frameworks for the Workplace

A professor of management and business administration has released a new book highlighting frameworks for implementing racial diversity, equity and inclusion in corporate workplaces. 

Georgetown University McDonough School of Business (MSB) Professor Ella Washington’s “The Necessary Journey: Making Real Progress on Equity and Inclusion” is set for release on Nov. 8. The book provides frameworks for corporate organizations to achieve meaningful racial equity and inclusion in their workplace. Washington explores this topic by profiling different companies with stories of failure and success, such as Slack, Best Buy and PwC.

Following the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, corporate interest in DEI greatly increased. Although many companies made promises to implement racial equity initiatives, Washington noted in her book that many of these organizations did not know how to proceed in fulfilling them. Her research found them struggling to make long-term advancements that are not just limited to their initial verbal support.

MSB Professor Ella Washington published a book on frameworks for achieving meaningful diversity, equity and inclusion in the corporate workplace. | Amazon.

Washington said these observations inspired her to provide resources in the book that would allow corporations to follow through on important DEI initiatives.  

“As I continued supporting organizations in wrestling with DEI, I found a great need that many organizations shared: The need to understand the arc of DEI and how they could best position themselves to pursue meaningful and lasting change,” Washington wrote to The Hoya. “Combining my passion for research and my tactical approach to DEI, I set out to create a framework that would invigorate an organization’s DEI Journey, one that I think is a Necessary Journey for all organizations.”

As an organizational psychologist and DEI expert, Washington drew from her own professional experiences and Ph.D. work to research for her book. She also explored case studies with the DEI journeys of clients and partners in various industries. For example, Washington examined Denny’s, where, after receiving several discrimination lawsuits, the company was able to take a top-down approach in addressing DEI and turning around their reputation. 

According to Washington, her research revealed that DEI initiatives have to be specific to any given organization.

“Although I went into the book with the intention of highlighting the numerous types of DEI journeys various organizations have had, getting the chance to really dig into these organizations and really look under the hood was a privilege,” Washington wrote. “It really confirmed the truth that the Journey is neither linear nor the same for any two organizations.”

Paul Almeida, dean of the MSB, said Washington’s work exemplifies the school’s mission of promoting DEI initiatives. 

“Ella is a shining example of how Georgetown McDonough uses innovative research to solve today’s critical challenges,” Almeida wrote to The Hoya. “Her research in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion provides actionable steps for leaders as they navigate important conversations within their companies. We hope Ella’s book encourages many more organizations and leaders to work toward achieving true inclusion.”

Joshua Datz (MSB ’26) said he appreciates the ways in which MSB professors inspire their students with the real-world business initiatives they are leading. 

“It’s pretty exciting to be in an environment where I can learn from faculty that offer alternative perspectives on the role of business in society,” Datz wrote to The Hoya. “I appreciate that members of the MSB’s faculty are integrating important societal issues into the curriculum and, in effect, preparing students to have a positive impact through business.”

Washington said the book demonstrates why an inclusive workplace is an important ideal for employees and companies alike.

“At the core, I want people to embrace and explore the idea of the workplace utopia because that concept can be the north star for strong DEI work,” Washington wrote. “When organizations are able to create a clear image around what they want their workplace to look and feel like — and they are able to do so with feedback from employees, they stand a great chance at creating a strong inclusive environment.”

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About the Contributor
Hayley Young
Hayley Young, Senior Features Editor
Hayley Young is a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences from Philadelphia, Pa., studying English and linguistics with a minor in cognitive science. She has never learned how to ride a bike. [email protected]

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