[Quinn Dombrowski from Berkeley, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons]

DEI Is The First To Go As Companies Cut The Fat For Recession

In the face of a recession, companies begin to look more closely at what positions bring in profit rather than a more amorphous term like “value,” and it turns out that DEI officers may bring much of the latter but little of the former. Monster.com noted last month that “diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives may be among the first parts of a business to be eliminated in a recession, per data from Monster’s January 2023 future of work report. Eleven percent of employers surveyed said that DEI programs ‘are among the first to go when they are forced to cut costs,’ second to company events and bonuses.”

During the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, companies saw a boom in “DEI” jobs. Essence said, “The pledges led to organizations bringing in their first ever Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officers and creating new departments devoted to amplifying equity efforts. For instance, in the few months following George Flyod’s murder, DEI job listings increased 123%, per Indeed.”

Companies went woke, but now they’re trying not to go broke. 

Fox News writes, “A recent study conducted by Revelio Labs shows the companies that laid off workers in 2022 slashed DEI positions at a higher rate than others, indicating those dedicated roles become lower-priority when times get tough.

The workforce analytics firm found that attrition rates for DEI gigs have surged over the past six months at the more than 600 companies that have conducted layoffs since late 2020 and outpaced non-DEI attrition last year by a rate of 33% to 21%.

Revelio reported that more than 300 DEI professionals left their roles in the last half of 2022 at firms impacted by layoffs, and entire DEI departments were likely eliminated in the bloodbath.

‘Amazon, Twitter, and Nike have shed between 5 and 16 DEI professionals each, and Twitter’s infamous diversity team layoffs are not far behind,” the company wrote in its analysis. “Bearing in mind the typically small size of DEI teams – the median DEI team size in this set of companies is 3 – these outflows likely amount to the exodus of entire diversity teams.'”

Some have said that the focus on woke policy endeavors has been a disaster for racial unity and should be changed. 

No industry has backed away from its social engineering initiatives in the face of economic reality than Big Tech. “In recent years, U.S. tech majors have stepped up hiring and made diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) a priority. But as the industry grapples with over-hiring since mid-2020, rising interest rates and changes in business and consumer behavior, tech companies have announced deep cuts, risking their diversity efforts.

Amazon.com Inc’s (AMZN.O) layoffs will now include more than 18,000 roles as part of a workforce reduction it previously disclosed, its CEO said on Wednesday. That comes to about 6% of its corporate workforce. Salesforce Inc (CRM.N) said on Wednesday it planned to eliminate about 10% of its staff.

Companies including Meta Platforms Inc (META.O), Amazon.com, Twitter Inc and Snap Inc (SNAP.N) have together cut over 97,000 jobs in 2022 to deal with the slowing economy and shareholder pressures, according to a report from employment firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. That is up 649% from 2021,” Reuters reported.