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As DEI gets more divisive, companies are ditching their teams

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Washington Post or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: After a surge in commitments to racial equity and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives following George Floyd’s murder in 2020, corporate America is now scaling back, cutting DEI positions and outsourcing these efforts to consultants
• Data from Revelio Labs shows a decline in DEI roles, with notable companies like Zoom, Snap, Meta, and Tesla making significant cuts in their DEI teams

🔭 The context: DEI jobs experienced a peak in early 2023, but saw a 5% reduction within the year and an 8% decrease so far in 2024. The attrition rate for DEI positions is roughly double that of non-DEI roles
• This downsizing aligns with a rise in legal risks and political opposition to systemic racial equity efforts, with state legislators introducing anti-DEI bills and corporate mentions of DEI on earnings calls dropping significantly

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The retreat from DEI initiatives reflects broader societal challenges in addressing systemic inequalities and fostering inclusive environments
• This trend could impact corporate sustainability and social responsibility efforts, as DEI is integral to addressing a wide range of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues

⏭️ What's next: Amid legal pressures and shifting political landscapes, the future of corporate DEI efforts appears uncertain
• Some companies are reevaluating their approach by downsizing in-house teams in favor of consultants, while others remain committed to their DEI goals
• This recalibration may define the resilience and adaptability of DEI initiatives in the corporate sector

💬 One quote: "For companies that were never really committed, this is the perfect air cover for backing off diversity," said Joelle Emerson, CEO of DEI consultancy Paradigm

📈 One stat: DEI jobs fell by 5% in 2023 and by 8% so far in 2024, according to Revelio Labs

Click for more news covering the latest on diversity and inclusion

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