Is the corporate DEI panic finally over?
(Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash)

Is the corporate DEI panic finally over?

That's the headline for an article in The FT that caught our eye this week. In June of last year when the US Supreme Court overturned affirmative action for college admissions meaning that race could no longer be considered as a factor in university admissions there has been a broader backlash against DEI initiatives.

However, the article highlights that underneath the surface many corporates have continued with their programmes. While some companies like Nike and Disney are still publicising their efforts, others are staying the course, even if they are not being as vocal about it.

The Conference Board surveyed 194 executives at the back end of 2023 and none said they were planning to scale back their diversity initiatives in 2024.

We have written about DEI extensively and believe that a focus on inclusion will have benefits for the organisation, its employees and wider society as it offers the potential to elicit and connect a broader range of ideas and skills.

Inclusion is about creating the right culture and environment so that everyone, regardless of their differences - their diversity - feels that they belong and are valued. They are not prevented from striving to reach their potential.

Diversity should be a manifestation of an inclusive culture.

Really what we are talking about is businesses striving for a more sustainable and effective culture.

A firm's culture is the weighted-average of the values that its people actually follow. It develops over time. How much does increasing inclusion cost? There is no new deep technological or scientific hurdle to overcome. All you need to do is change behaviours, right?

Behavioural change is difficult! It requires many individual measures and structures and takes time.

Here are just two examples of our writing on the area (more at - remember all of our blogs are free to read in full once you have registered)



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