Companies Rebranding DEI as 'Wellbeing and Inclusion'

Chris Menahan
Jan. 04, 2024

US companies are rebranding "diversity, equity and inclusion" as "wellbeing and inclusion" as a result of DEI programs facing legal scrutiny and falling out of favor in red states.

From Axios, "Companies are backing away from 'DEI' ":
The Supreme Court's decision last year overturning the use of affirmative action in universities has drawn attention to corporate diversity efforts.

- Businesses are trying to avoid any programs that could draw legal scrutiny — any kinds of goals around hiring particular demographic groups are increasingly frowned upon.

- "Anything that smacks of a quota" is out, said Diana Scott, Human Capital Center Leader at The Conference Board.

The intrigue: At the same time, many business leaders say they're still committed to diversity. In a survey of chief human resource officers recently conducted by The Conference Board, zero respondents said they were planning on scaling back DEI in 2024.

State of play: This all means that the way DEI happens inside companies is changing.

- Some firms, like Blackstone, are focusing on hiring for socioeconomic diversity, and on changing job requirements to find more diverse talent without targeting a specific race or ethnicity, Fortune recently reported.

- And businesses are pulling back from the DEI term. The focus is moving away from "those three words" towards efforts around "wellbeing and inclusion," said Scott from The Conference Board.

- "Companies are really starting to look at other ways to do the work without saying that they're doing the work," said Cinnamon Clark, cofounder of Goodwork Sustainability, a DEI consulting firm.

- Businesses will likely be talking more about "employee experience" or "wellness," which falls under the inclusion bucket, said Clark.
As I reported two weeks, ago, former ADL director Abe Foxman called for a total and complete shutdown of "diversity, equity and inclusion" brainwashing because Jews are being treated the same as white people.

Bill Ackman has expressed similar concerns in the wake of Oct 7 and organized a campaign to oust Ivy League college presidents for not silencing critics of Israel (which he framed as a campaign against DEI).

We know that DEI is not his main concern because Harvard President Claudine Gay was replaced by Jewish provost Alan Garber -- who is also a stalwart advocate of DEI -- and Ackman and others had no complaints whatsoever.

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