Diversity Jobs Are Drying Up As Big Businesses Tighten Their Belts

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Laurel Duggan Social Issues and Culture Reporter
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Major corporations are scaling back their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs after boosting DEI hiring by 50% in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in 2020, according to NBC News.

DEI employees are being fired across the country, and the attrition rate for those positions was 33% at the close of 2022 compared to 21% for other roles, according to NBC. Amazon, Applebee’s, Twitter, Nike and Wayfair have each shed between five and 16 DEI workers since July 2022, leading the way, leading the way among a larger cohort of national companies paring back or completely eliminating DEI departments, according to Revelio Labs.

Most DEI departments are very small, so these cuts likely represent entire DEI teams exiting large companies, according to Revelio.

“I always say that it is so easy to make public statements and commitments because no one will eventually check if you’re committed to the things that you committed to,” Reyhan Ayas, a senior economist at Revelio Labs, told NBC.  “In 2020, a lot of companies made big commitments, big statements around the DEI roles and goals. And as we are observing a turning of that tide, I think it’s very timely that we actually look into companies to see if they have kept up with those big statements they made.”

DEI leaders are overwhelmingly white; 76.1% of chief diversity officers are white, while 3.8% are black, 7.8% are Hispanic or Latino and 7.7% are Asian, according to Zippia. DEI departments appear to have a modest impact on the racial diversity of new employees; companies with a DEI team only hired 1-2% more black, Hispanic and Asian candidates company-wide than those without DEI teams, according to Revelio.

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