Bloomberg reports that DEI teams have been some of the hardest hit during recent tech company layoffs, despite hiring roles in DEI increasing in 2020 in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests. One of the biggest takeaways is that Twitter’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team is down to just 2 members from 30, according to a former employee.
This poses a problem for tech companies. It threatens the achievability of any targets to boost underrepresented groups in the company.
Our SocialMarks analysis highlighted that in 2021 Twitter committed to wanting 25% of their global workforce to be from underrepresented groups by 2025. With such a reduction in the diversity team, this goal is threatened.
Amazon is another company who have made cuts to their DEI team. SocialMarks analysis highlighted that in July 2022, Amazon outlined targets to ensure more diverse representation amongst employees. For example, in the US, they set to increase hiring of veterans by at least 23% and increase both Black and Latino leaders across the US by at least 35%.
Although Amazon has made statements that their DEI priorities have not changed with the layoffs, our data shows the importance of having established DEI teams.
Without these teams, it suggests a lack of commitment to making improvements in the realm of DEI. For companies to truly improve diversity, it must be integrated thoroughly at all levels in the company and be an integral part of company culture. Bloomberg research also highlights that “workers are more likely to leave companies where equity efforts are not a priority.”
Reuters said that cuts are “disproportionately affecting women and mid-career talent which may make it more difficult to improve diversity in one of the most sought-after industries”. Reasons for the layoffs disproportionally affecting underrepresented groups includes that they often impact newer employees and lower positions.
So, what’s the solution? Companies need to actively hire diverse talent and implement programs, policies, and training to ensure these groups are supported. This way, it will help to retain employees. There are a multitude of benefits of having a diverse workforce including new and diverse perspectives, improved company image, increased employee engagement, and improved decision making. SocialMarks can be part of the solution as we can help you to identify areas where training, programs and policies can make the biggest impact in DEI.
Credits: Photo by Amy Elting on Unsplash.