As the Biden administration adds more diversity and equity roles, other industries are letting go of these high-priced positions in 2023.
Companies are gutting diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) jobs while workers were leaving these fields at a higher rate than non-DEI positions, a recent report found. The study by Revelio Labs said last year companies who had layoffs cut DEI positions at a 33% rate versus a 21% cut for other roles.
DEI facilitators commiserated together on Twitter over the increasing trend, and argued their jobs were essential for "equity" in the workplace.
"I had over 30 speaking engagements last Feb. This month 5. It’s insane how things have just been cut. Tell me that you care about your Black and Brown employees w/out telling me you care. How can you solve this… make equity all year around… You can’t make equity optional," equity strategist Minda Harts wrote.
She was writing in response to an "antiracism educator" called "@corprteUnicorn" who bemoaned, "I'm normally booked 15+ times in Black History Month, this year I'm booked *once*."
Harts condemned companies who cut DEI positions, telling them to "recommit" to the cause because employees "need safe spaces to work.That is tied to productivity."
"Posting pics of Rosa Parks aint gonna cut it," she added about Black History Month.
Dr. Jenn M. Jackson, an assistant professor at Syracuse University and self-described abolitionist, said, "This resonates. My engagements are much lower this year. And, I think it's important to pay attention to who is getting paid to talk about race right now: white women."
Inclusive workplace advocate Karen Catlin complained she was losing jobs in 2023 as well.
"Speaking of March ... March 8 is International Women's Day. It's less than 3 weeks away. 2023 will be the first time in many years that I won't have a speaking engagement," she wrote.
A digital strategist responded to the thread complaining her former employer laid off "half the DEI chairs," and had done "nothing" for Black History Month. "Pathetic," she griped.
Another former DEI coordinator revealed he'd also been the first to get laid off from his employer last summer.
"I'd imagine that the trend will continue with Women's month in March and even with Pride in June. I was leading DEI events at my last job - and was 1st to get hit with a layoff. When companies are struggling to make profit, DEI and community get bumped sadly," Hassan Mirza tweeted.
Others in the field bemoaned the "sad" trend and argued that equity and inclusion efforts helped businesses succeed.
Despite the waning interest in these positions in some industries, the Biden administration recently announced it created another DEI position.
The Department of Commerce (DOC) this week appointed its first-ever "counselor for equity," a position that will work to "institutionalize equity across all workstreams and advise senior leadership on policy design and implementation strategies that help advance the equity agenda," Fox News Digital reported.
Biden's Department of Defense also recently came under fire for sending a tweet calling its diversity training, "critical to mission readiness and accomplishment."
Fox News' Peter Kasperowicz contributed to this report.