Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), a critical race theory-influenced initiative that aims to push racial ‘equity’ in the corporate world, has been losing momentum in the United States according to a new study from an industry consulting firm.
The firm, Paradigm MIQ, reports that between 2022 and 2023 the DEI movement made gains in the amount of gender-representation goals (6 percent) and the presence of senior DEI leaders at American companies (8 percent). However, there has been a 4 percent decrease in company budgets dedicated to DEI. There has also been a 9 percent decrease in the share of organizations that have a DEI strategy.
Currently in 2023, about 54 percent of US companies still have DEI budgets, compared to 63 percent in 2022.
The data implies that companies are trying to hire DEI chiefs to deflect lawsuits internally, but in terms of the real implementation of its principles they are pulling back.
Furthermore, the report found that while a large majority of U.S. companies engage in DEI training, only 35 percent of them measure the impacts of these training sessions.
“2023 has undeniably shifted the DEI landscape for years to come,” write the authors of the report. “External forces are no longer pushing companies to invest in DEI; instead, in some cases, external forces are pushing back on companies’ investment in DEI.”
Christopher Rufo of the Manhattan Institute took credit for the shift in corporate behavior. “We revealed the true nature of DEI, organized lawsuits against discriminatory policies, and submitted ‘diversity and inclusion’ to public scrutiny,” Rufo wrote on X. “Now, the backlash begins.”
We revealed the true nature of DEI, organized lawsuits against discriminatory policies, and submitted "diversity and inclusion" to public scrutiny. Now, the backlash begins. pic.twitter.com/Vl6QjWGDaV
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) November 27, 2023
This comes after American Alliance for Equal Rights, a conservative litigation group, sued two law firms in August on the grounds that their minority fellowships discriminated against students that were not people of color, LGBTQ+, or disabled. In response, a major law firm not involved in the case removed its minority fellowship out of fear of being sued.
That same litigation group was behind the successful lawsuit that resulted in the Supreme Court ruling against the use of affirmative action in college admissions in June 2023.
The group also has an ongoing lawsuit with the venture capitalist “Fearless Fund” for exclusively investing in Black females.
Additionally, 13 Republican state attorneys sent a letter to Fortune 100 companies in July urging them to re-think their diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in light of the Supreme Court’s decision on college admissions.
DEI picked up speed after the death of George Floyd in 2020. According to an analysis from Bloomberg of corporate hiring among Fortune 100 companies, only 6 percent of those jobs went to White applicants.
Watch Patrick Bet-David investigate a similar politically-motivated corporate acronym, ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) below.