Deprioritizing DEI: The Trend to Avoid

As we continue to deal with the aftermath of the pandemic and this rollercoaster of an economy, it’s disheartening to watch companies start to deprioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. I keep reading about how organizations of all sizes have been laying off HR employees and DEI leaders. That concerns me… Will DEI goals and metrics lose their impact and relevance?
Let’s not forget – inclusion and belonging programs are not just nice-to-have initiatives. They are SUPER critical for building a healthy and productive company culture. They foster creativity, innovation, and productivity. Without these fundamental values, how will organizations stay competitive? How will they prepare for the “majority minority” identity of the US in 20 years? Google it if it sounds unfamiliar.
But Elliott, what about profits? HR and DEI are cost-centers! Really? Okay, then cut back on your marketing budget or close some offices and stop bemoaning the sunk costs of your corporate real estate! Stop taking the easy way out by laying off or reducing the influence of your “people people”. Don’t you know that a lack of diversity could lead to groupthink and a lack of fresh ideas? Sounds like that would make your business suffer, doesn’t it? And haven’t you realized that a lack of inclusion causes employees to feel undervalued and disengaged? Look up “quiet quitting”, “rage applying”, “bare minimum Mondays”, and “chaotic working”. Read all about how deprioritizing equity and inclusion contributes to toxic workplace cultures, increased employee turnover, and decreased performance.
At CTE, we speak up and advocate for DEI. We encourage our clients to make diversity, equity, and inclusion a part of their DNA. Not because we’re a DEI firm (we are not), but because respect, inclusivity, and innovation benefit everyone.
Some questions for you to consider and reply to:
How should your company balance its budget without compromising on DEI initiatives?
What strategies can you use to maintain DEI teams and programs at your organization?
How should your company measure the success of its DEI initiatives, and what metrics should leaders use to do so?

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