Report Shows Firms Scaling Back DEI Efforts

( – There’s a steady decline in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices among U.S. companies and experts project the trend is likely to continue into 2024. The DEI consulting firm, Paradigm, issued a report showing that companies with a DEI budget decreased them by 4 points year over year and the overall percentage of companies that have DEI “strategies” declined by 9 points.

Paradigm, says this indicates a downward momentum that will likely carry into and through 2024. They term the decrease as a “significant risk” to the advancement of the DEI agenda. They note that while the majority of companies are still training employees in DEI, only 35% “measure the impact” of that training. Paradigm is also dismayed that of the companies that utilize DEI, only about one in four do a deep analysis of their hiring rates by ethnicity and race.

DEI programs have embedded themselves within corporate America after the 2020 wave of George Floyd inspired and Black Lives Matter (BLM)-related riots and civil unrest. The DEI programs are also strewn throughout the government, one example being the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which mandated that their employees attend training seminars focused on “white supremacy” and “systemic racism.” 

Companies that may have been looking for a way to downsize the footprint of DEI are likely to cite a recent United States Supreme Court decision that struck down affirmative action, or race-based college acceptances. Additionally, a number of law firms have been sued recently based on allegations of racially discriminatory hiring practices. Also being targeted are DEI-based fellowships that exclude large numbers of people solely because of race.

Paradigm also acknowledges the impact of the SCOTUS decision saying that it will likely “diminish” the number of “diversity” hires within companies. Corporate America has to weigh the pressure coming from the DEI entities versus the ever-growing external opposition to these race-based policies and procedures.

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