DEI in the News: A Modern Business Imperative

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They say all press is good press when looking for exposure. But recent headlines would have you believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion across universities and workplaces are about to collapse before our very eyes. 

Advocates in states across America are feeling the setbacks caused by recent policy shifts.  Other professionals look on wearily, searching for ways to prevent a cascading effect of bad decision-making. 

One way professionals are combating the shift is by staying informed. They dissect headlines and news stories about how lawmakers are shuttering transformative diversity and inclusion programs while also celebrating significant wins, like the updating of stats in professional sports. 

Businesses rely on diverse and inclusive workplace environments to remain competitive, especially as more organizations become globalized. Management consulting teams, diversity officers, and social workers must stay in the know to prevent misinformation from tainting positive progress. 


Spotlight on the Latest Diversity News

Glancing at recent diversity, equity, and inclusion news headlines is disheartening. Several states are heavily restraining meaningful DEI programs, inclusion initiatives, and legislation that have positive impacts on millions of lives. 

These anti-diversity efforts come from conservative-backed GOP lawmakers in key states such as Texas, Tennessee, Iowa, Florida, and North Carolina. Of the nearly 150 laws concerning DEI submitted this year alone, many focus on dismantling DEI programs at universities, implementing anti-DEI laws, or targeting higher education. 

Texas’s high-profile decision to instate a public university-wide DEI ban leads these attacks, a decision stemming from gender diversity and Black Lives Matter movements. This move axed more than 600 programs across campuses, further alienating Black students and workers. 

In the wake of these changes, North Carolina’s public university system also moved to roll back diversity policies that have been successful in the past five years. Like the Texas case, North Carolina’s decision is costing people jobs. These changes unfairly impact Asian, Hispanic, and Black women. 

Likewise, South Dakota is no longer allowing members of its public university system to disclose their pronouns or tribal affiliations in email signatures. Unfortunately, this policy shift comes from a governor who appointed all nine positions of South Dakota’s Board of Regents, which oversees policies in education. 

In more heartwarming news, this year marks 70 years of Brown v. Board, the landmark Supreme Court decision that found racial segregation in schools unconstitutional. President Biden spoke before the NAACP to reassert his commitment to serving Black Americans. 

Another win for diversity is the MLB’s decision to include Negro League statistics in Major League Baseball’s stat-tracking efforts. These efforts propel baseball great Josh Gibson to the top of several categories, including batting average.  

Finally, women are now the largest demographic of law firm associates, marking the first time in history they eclipse males. The legal sector is a traditionally male-dominated industry, with women relegated to secretarial roles. This development marks a huge win for women’s rights activists. 


Understanding the Impact of Diversity News

The reality of the modern news cycle is that more cynical developments grab front-page headlines. The more positive stories and gainful policy changes get buried because only highly divisive stuff attracts views. This back and forth between sides creates a profound misunderstanding of the nature and success of DEI in the workplace. 

For instance, certain lawmakers use polarizing headlines to convince themselves and others that DEI policies and practices are ineffective. Statistics say otherwise. A new study from McKinsey & Co. reported that companies with diverse and inclusive environments are 35% more likely to outperform their competitors. 

Plus, AARP cites that age-related discrimination of workers over 50 costs the U.S. economy a staggering $850 billion. Individuals concerned about the welfare of the economy, workforce, and profits indeed like to ignore the significant upsides that diversity, equity, and inclusion bring to businesses. 

As businesses in states impacted by the new anti-DEI movement adapt to changes, employees lose jobs, feel less safe or welcome in their workplaces, and face elevated discrimination. Hate fuels hate. By doubling down on your DEI efforts, you can weather the storm and improve the working lives of your employees. 

And Coach Diversity Institute is here to help. With programs and training in areas like microaggressions, multicultural awareness, and inclusive leadership, you can remain a beacon of acceptance, inclusion, and equity for your staff. 


Diversity Challenges Highlighted by Recent News

As trending news stories have highlighted, DEI is facing significant resistance from individuals in Congress and state legislature who misunderstand the impact these DEI initiatives and programs have. New anti-DEI laws in Texas eliminate programs at universities, which are supposed to be safe spaces for learning, increasing the chance students encounter discrimination or bias. 

South Dakota’s decision to eliminate pronouns and tribal affiliations in email signatures signals intolerance and a lack of respect for the individual and their unique background. Moving forward, reinstating that right will be yet another hurdle to overcome. 

Additionally, as these anti-DEI movements gain popularity with fringe voters, advocates and liberal lawmakers must work harder to ensure everyone remains protected in the workplace. Resisting the misinformation, relying on the facts, and continuing your DEI efforts are essential in preventing the collapse of decades of hard work.


The Role of Media in Shaping Diversity Awareness

The major media outlets will always prioritize the more sensational pieces. Smaller outlets cater to their readers. Because of the distribution of the media, depending on the outlet, you’ll get a variety of interpretations whenever a diversity, equity, and inclusion story appears. 

For instance, the headlines we found highlighting DEI are political wins for some outlets, while others decry them as outrageous attacks. Once the stories appear on social media, all bets are off. Some personalities contort these headlines even further, influencing their audience based on their viewpoint. 

Unfortunately, finding authentic reporting is becoming a more significant concern. Fighting against the highly polarized nature of online media means finding truthful reporting of the facts and figures without interjecting opinions. 

As a business leader and expert, it’s imperative that you rely only on these truthful sources and avoid reactions to sensational headlines. Your employees will reward your dedication to a diverse and inclusive workplace with higher retention, productivity, and engagement. 


Embracing Diversity as a Path Forward

Developments, such as those unfolding across states like Texas, Tennessee, and North Carolina, are prime examples of why it’s vital to stay up-to-date with the latest in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Staying informed means you can see the warning signs as they happen around you. 

Staying informed also helps to reaffirm your commitment to diversity statements and inclusion practices in your organization. And with statistics, facts, and figures in your corner, you will know when someone is trying to bluff you into thinking DEI is a bad thing. 

Instead, you can encourage your employees and leadership teams to become more inclusive and equitable by offering them training courses through a provider like Coach Diversity Institute. Our programs are the perfect way to foster diversity and inclusion while stomping out unconscious bias and microaggressions. 

Maintain your competitive advantage by remaining a bastion of DEI in the workplace. Get in touch with us today to explore our programs and learn more about the tools and techniques you and your team will learn to improve your organizational culture!