Despite a concerted effort by many institutions, government entities, and other left-wing forces to push “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) initiatives on private businesses, 2023 saw a greater decrease in such measures than previous years.
As reported by the Daily Caller, the total number of businesses with a designated DEI budget dropped to 54% in 2023, down four points from 58% in 2022. In the same period of time, the number of organizations with a DEI strategy declined by 9%. Both of these statistics were compiled by the consulting firm Paradigm.
“After two years of unprecedented investment sparked by 2020’s racial justice movement, this year, global momentum around DEI slowed,” the report from Paradigm states in part. “There are a number of headwinds contributing to this shift: the first is economic uncertainty that not only led to reduced spending across the board, it also firmly shifted the power balance back to employers.”
After a slow, behind-the-scenes effort to implement such radical DEI initiatives across the country, there was an explosion in the number of companies pursuing such objectives in the aftermath of the race riots in 2020, where far-left black nationalist and Anarcho-Communist agitators destroyed dozens of cities, killed dozens of civilians, and caused $2 billion worth of damage nationwide. The riots were in response to the death of George Floyd, a career criminal who died of a fentanyl overdose while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in May of 2020.
Despite the decline in funding for DEI programs, there was nevertheless an increase in DEI-related hiring in 2023, with the number of companies with a senior DEI leader position increasing by 6%, and an 8% increase in the number of companies that emphasized putting women in leadership roles. From 2022 to 2023, the number of companies dedicated to increasing the number of non-White employees rose by 4%, thus resulting in a new total of 20% of overall companies.
In addition to numerous successful boycott efforts against companies that pushed for greater diversity, including Bud Light, Target, and the Los Angeles Dodgers, companies are beginning to fear an increase in legal repercussions following the Supreme Court’s decision earlier this year to overturn affirmative action in colleges and universities. Although the decision only applied to race-based admissions in higher education, many lawsuits have already been filed against various companies pointing to the Supreme Court’s language, claiming that such practices within private companies are also unconstitutional.
“Over the past several months, we’ve heard from a number of HR leaders who are de-emphasizing data and analytics as a part of their DEI efforts, in response to the changing legal landscape and increased scrutiny on DEI efforts,” the Paradigm report added.