The trend: Companies are backing away from the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) pledges they made in the wake of US racial justice protests after the death of George Floyd in May 2020 as a softer US economy forces marketers to tighten their belts.
But it wasn’t all bad news: The nonwhite makeup of the advertising and marketing industry improved to 32.3% in 2022 from 30.8% the prior year, per Association of National Advertisers data.
DEI jobs plummet: Layoffs across technology and other industries have pummeled DEI staff—a sharp reversal from the hiring burst just a few years ago.
Our take: Cutting resources and investments tied to DEI sends a message that diversity and inclusion are not corporate necessities, which is a bad look. Brands run the risk of hurting their ability to attract and keep diverse talent.
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