Tech employers are slashing their DEI teams. This is a notable component of the widespread job cuts that have taken place over the past few months. According to Layoffs.fyi, over 150,000 workers will be laid off by tech companies in 2022, and over 80,000 more in 2023.
Job openings for DEI professionals have increased over the last few years, but the trend is unlikely to reverse as companies cut costs ahead of the expected economic downturn. SHRM recently reported that his DEI expert was laid off at companies such as Lyft and Twitter. Both companies lost most, if not all, of his DEI team, according to the organization. The reason cited for the layoff was the fact that the DEI’s role did not contribute to the company’s bottom line. “Investing in human capital does not easily yield tangible returns, especially for consumer technology companies that prioritize engineering, research and development,” he said SHRM.
Further DEI declines
At the same time, according to Textio, the number of DEI job vacancies fell by 19% in 2022. Meanwhile, general HR roles saw him fall only 13%. As a result, many business leaders and HR executives are concerned that diversity will erode at many companies.
Many companies, such as Amazon, have shown they have not abandoned their DEI goals, promising to meet them with or without layoffs. How long will that attitude last?
Organizations facing leaner DEI teams don’t have to abandon their goals altogether, Bain & Co. Chief Diversity Officer Julie Coffman told Bloomberg. “Decisions to recruit, promote and develop talent are made across departments,” she said. “The real work of truly advancing DEI performance does not lie solely with her Diversity Officer at Central and her small DEI team.”