Corporate America Faces a Pushback Against Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

( – The Supreme Court gutted affirmative action for college admissions in its last session. The decision has reportedly had a far-reaching impact on the country. Corporate America is now facing a pushback.

There was an explosion of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis Police officers in 2020. Companies across the nation have enacted policies to tackle racism and bigotry in the workplace. In June 2023, CNBC released its Black Business Leadership Survey and found that 80% of black executives said their companies provided more resources to employee groups. Seventy-four percent (74%) said their companies implemented a diversity program for hiring, and 40% of respondents said DEI goals were part of the executives’ compensation structure.

On November 27, the consulting firm Paradigm released a report stating researchers have seen a slowdown in the number of DEI programs in corporate America. Those involved in the research found one of the reasons centered on political rhetoric and lawsuits brought by conservatives.

In two cases brought by conservatives with the Students for Fair Admissions, the judges ruled 6-3 that colleges should never use race to decide whether someone should have a spot at a school. Groups are now hoping to extend the ruling to corporate America.

The American Alliance for Equal Rights, which was involved in the college cases, has now sued two law firms over their minority fellowships that are open to people of color, those who are part of the LGBTQ+ community, and disabled people. The group is arguing the programs discriminate against able-bodied, straight, white people. They’re also suing a venture capitalist firm with an environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investment program that promises to solely invest in black women.

The cases are making their way through the court system. If they make it to the Supreme Court, the justices will have to decide whether to allow affirmative action in the workplace to continue or if it’s discriminatory.

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