t Twitter, the diversity, equity and inclusion team is down to just two people from 30, one former employee said. A DEI worker fired from a popular ride-share company said their job search has stalled as other technology companies assess their finances. And just before getting the axe at separate tech giants this fall, two DEI specialists said leadership had stopped setting long-term goals for their departments entirely.
The layoffs sweeping the technology industry are gutting diversity and inclusion departments, threatening company pledges to boost underrepresented groups in their ranks and leadership. Most companies announced the need to restructure their organizations to focus on profitable initiatives and critical departments. One could see this coming from a mile away.
A spokesperson for Amazon said the company’s DEI priorities haven’t changed and remain committed to its goals. A Redfin spokesperson said the company has invested in growing its DEI team since 2021, and despite a recent layoff, the group is larger than it was at the start of 2022. A representative for Meta declined to comment.
“I’m cautiously concerned — not that these roles will go to zero but that there will be a spike in ‘Swiss army knife’ type roles, meaning more DEI professionals will be spread thin as they take on additional job functions,” said Textio Chief Executive Officer Kieran Snyder. The phenomenon isn’t likely limited to tech, as layoffs hit other parts of the economy.
Recent years have seen diversity and inclusion hiring boom. In the three months after George Floyd’s murder, DEI job postings jumped 123%, according to data from the jobs site Indeed. After the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, many organizations promised to boost gender and racial diversity. Dozens brought in their first-ever Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officers.
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