What Does DEI Training Cost and Is It Worth It?

ViewHR Team
September 23, 2021
people at work

Spending on diversity training is growing like never before, but how can you know if a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training solution for your company is a good value or not? Here are some simple tips and comparisons to help you assess.

What do other companies typically spend?

A 2016 Diversity Best Practices (DBP) benchmarking study found that more than half of the companies benchmarked allocate approximately 2-3% of their overall budget to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. Approximately a quarter of that budget was spent on training. Of course, this varies by company size. Large companies usually spend a greater percentage of their budgets than small ones. But many companies in the survey were spending around $200 per year on diversity training, for an average diversity budget of $1.1 million. (If that seems astronomical to you as a small business leader on a tight budget, hang in there, there are more affordable options.)

There are a myriad of DEI training programs that cost anywhere from $20 per employee, per month, to $25,000 for a one-hour lecture on combating racism. Popular training programs and platforms include:

Other independent DEI consultants often charge between $150 - $250 an hour. Prominent anti-racist speakers, such as Robin DiAngelo and Ibram X. Kendi, are known to charge $15,000 to $25,000 per presentation.

Chart comparing DEI training solutions by price and time commitment

Consider the opportunity cost

As Professor Jonathan Haidt recently highlighted in a ViewHR roundtable event discussing that forty years of DEI has little to show for it in terms of results, there’s more to consider than just the financial cost. “If you’re spending money on [DEI] training, you’re wasting not just money but a lot of people’s time.
 Try something different... It sounds like ViewHR is a really well-grounded, well-founded alternative.”

As you can see in the graphic above, typical training often takes five hours to complete, while some take ten hours or more over the course of months.

While it is easy to believe that more time spent on DEI is better, managers should evaluate the opportunity cost to their employees as well as the entire organization. Time spent in DEI training means time away from building products, providing services, talking to customers, or doing what your company does best.

This is especially true given social science research finding traditional diversity programs often backfire, leading to more hostility at work.

For those looking for a better alternative, ViewHR’s on-demand training was designed from the ground up to avoid these pitfalls. It takes just 45 minutes to complete ViewHR’s self-paced training, delivering evidence-based content on how to treat individuals with respect and kindness.

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