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The Case for Eliminated DEI

I’ve changed my position on DEI programs in corporations and believe most of them should be eliminated.

Before you get the torches and pitchforks, hear me out.

I think many organizations created these programs because they felt they needed to - it was necessary to attract candidates, build employee engagement, and be seen as a brand that cares about the world.

Over the past several months, there has been a backlash. There have been protests about these programs being inappropriate and even boycotts because organizations are “too woke”.

I believe no organization should do something because they fear getting attacked by one side or the other. After all, doing nothing will get you attacked as well in many cases. Every organization should take a stand based on what they believe is the right thing to do.

Which is why most organizations should eliminate these programs. They didn’t believe in them in the first place, they felt forced because of societal pressure. They made grand gestures with little to no interest in actually doing anything. For example, I remember the many organizations in 2020 who signed statements committing to racial diversity in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder. I spoke to a high-ranking executive at one of the organizations that signed a pledge a few months after the announcement. I asked what they were doing on that initiative. She just shook her head and said “nothing - we’ve done and are doing nothing”. Before you argue that maybe she didn’t see it - she was the head of the enterprise that would have been leading it!

Further evidence. A recent study of black employees showed that while the number of black men who had been promoted to the C-suite had gone up a bit, the number of black men being promoted to front-line manager or middle manager had decreased.

With all due respect, they found someone who they could add to the picture of all white men, but have no interest in truly creating a pipeline.

Every shareholder and employee should make the following demand on executives. Either provide proof of programs (including plans and measurements) or disband them and admit that you don’t think they are necessary.

In other words, put up or admit the truth. No longer should they be able to hide behind meaningless statements.

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