DEI Jobs Are Drying Up, But Colleges Keep Pushing Diversity Studies

American universities and colleges are rushing to offer students degrees or certifications in so-called diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) when major U.S. corporations are reportedly laying off DEI-focused senior officers and thousands of employees.

In the wake of George Floyd’s death in 2020, American companies were under tremendous pressure from various stakeholders to do more for social justice and racial diversity in the workplace. One of the most vocal stakeholders in the corporate world is Larry Fink, chief executive officer of BlackRock, a trillion-dollar asset management firm. Weaponizing BlackRock’s enormous financial power, Fink has coerced many other American companies to adopt the “environmental, social, and governance” (ESG) agenda. For example, in its 2020 annual reports, BlackRock bragged that it had “voted against management more than 1,500 times for ‘insufficient diversity’” in company management.

Responding to these external demands as well as corporate executives’ eagerness to virtue signal, American companies rushed to hire DEI professionals, including adding Chief Diversity Officers (CDOs) to their top leadership. The Society for Human Resource Management reported in 2020 that DEI roles in the workplace increased by 55 percent following Floyd’s death. In a recent report titled “The Rise and Fall of the Chief Diversity Officer,” The Wall Street Journal found, “In 2018, less than half the companies in the S&P 500 employed someone in the role, and by 2022, three out of four companies had created a position.”

Diversity by Matheus Viana is licensed under unsplash.com
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