HKS Affiliated Authors

Co-Director, Women and Public Policy Program
Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government

Additional Authors:

  • Siri Chilazi


We need to find a way to overcome the short-term individual and organizational costs of DEI so that we may collectively reap its long-term benefits. This is exactly what goals and targets help us do. They provide motivation to act, increasing the will to change, while in themselves being a vehicle – a way – to change. Setting organizational DEI goals, and making oneself individually and collectively accountable for achieving them, is an evidence-based high leverage point to increase DEI in the U.S. tech industry. 

The rest of this white paper proceeds as follows. We begin by reviewing the academic evidence on goals and how and why they help with the will and the way of behavior change. We then turn to practical, evidence-based advice for tech companies on how to set effective DEI goals, informed by research as well as case studies. Lastly, we recommend a specific DEI goal for U.S. tech companies – and the industry as a whole – to help increase gender balance. 


Iris Bohnet and Siri Chilazi, “Goals and Targets for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: A High Leverage Point to Advance Gender Equality in the U.S. Tech Industry” (working paper, Women and Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School, 2020).