Tech Companies Are Scaling Back DEI Efforts, Report Finds

According to a recent report, 20% of IT businesses have cut their DEI teams in the previous year.

Following the 2020 racial justice demonstrations, diversity, equality, and inclusion measures gained traction throughout the tech sector. However, three years later, the same corporations are reducing their efforts. These DEI initiatives seem to have been “more show than substance” for at least a significant portion of the corporations in issue.

Layoffs are increasingly the norm in the IT business, exposing which teams are critical and which are no.

Hiring Biases and Wage Gaps Remain Concerns

The new data comes from the employment portal Hired, which recently published a study based on a poll of 229 hiring managers. 20% indicated they have reduced DEI teams in the last 12 months. At the same time, income disparities between men and women in all racial and ethnic groupings expanded in 2022.

Furthermore, 12% of respondents claimed that DEI programmes are “more vulnerable to cutbacks in the future if the economy tightens.”

After a few years of trend reversals, one important indication shows that biases are returning to develop. More and more IT companies are solely sending interview requests to men: The proportion was 38% in 2022, up from 37% in 2021 but still lower than the 43% that remained consistent in 2019 and 2020.

Salary Transparency Laws Might Help

According to data from the Hired platform, these laws have had a “generally positive” effect, with gender pay gaps closing in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City.

Erica Yamoto, senior director of marketing at Hired, told MarketWatch that “we all read the headlines.” We can observe what is going on with the anti-DEI movement. We see that in our survey data,” he states, adding that the trend is “definitely worrying.”

Let’s Not Forget Diversity Makes More Money

According to a McKinsey analysis published in 2021, prioritising diversity might result in 36% greater financial returns. It’s also not the first study to correlate racial diversity in management to beneficial financial success, implying that the retrenchment in 2023 has more to do with institutional racism than market pressures. The recent study indicating a retreat from DEI initiatives is just another indication that the United States is still unable to take three steps ahead without going two steps back, at least when it comes to tackling the racial disparities that have structured the country for generations.

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