Is DEI Going to Die in 2024?

2024年02月23日 741次浏览

Josh Bersin 的文章讨论了 2024 年多元化、公平与包容(DEI)项目所面临的重大挑战和批评,特别强调了 "反觉醒 "评论家的攻击和克劳迪娜-盖伊(Claudine Gay)从哈佛辞职的事件。报告探讨了多元包容计划在当前的文化战争中扮演的角色、人们对它的看法以及法律挑战对多元包容计划招聘和投资的影响。尽管存在这些挑战,贝尔辛还是强调了发展型企业的实际商业利益,展示了成功的战略以及将发展型企业融入业务而不仅仅是人力资源的重要性。他认为,应将重点转向在所有业务部门嵌入包容、公平薪酬和开放讨论的原则,并指出,未来的企业发展指数至关重要,但需要适应和领导层的承诺才能茁壮成长。



Is DEI Going to Die in 2024? By Josh Bersin


For anyone working in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), it is safe to say that it has been a tough start to 2024. For a while now, there has been a concerted attack on DEI programs, with ‘anti-woke’ commentators and public figures querying their value, worth, and even existence.


Those attacks increased enormously in 2024 with the resignation of Claudine Gay from Harvard. While the call to resign was supposedly related to plagiarism, one can’t help but feel that her position as a leading DEI advocate also fuelled the demand.


It means that DEI has come under increased and sustained fire, and despite the many benefits provided by a good DEO program – to both employer and employee – there is a feeling that 2024 could be the year that DEI fades away. How likely is this to happen, and what would the impact be if it did?


DEI and the culture wars


Anyone living and working in the US (or most other countries worldwide) over the past few years will have likely heard of the culture wars. Brought on by declining trust in institutions, growing inequalities, and the proliferation of technology, the culture wars involve opposing social groups seeking to impose their ideologies.


All manner of things has been caught up in this, from what’s on the curriculum at schools to taking a knee at sporting events and from definitions of what constitutes a woman to allegations of tokenism in the workplace. DEI has played an unwitting but central part in the culture wars.


There’s a perception that DEI programs are ‘woke’ and prioritize ethnicity and gender over achievement and ability. In August of 2023, an attorney filed (and won) a lawsuit against a VC firm that gives grants to black entrepreneurs. Similar suits have been filed against firms with diversity hiring programs, scholarships, and internships.


The resignation of Claudine Gay has reinvigorated the commentary around DEI programs. Josh Hammer, a conservative talk show host and writer, wrote on the social media platform X that taking down Dr. Gay was a “huge scalp” in the “fight for civilizational sanity. ” It was described as “a crushing loss to DEI, wokeism, antisemitism & university elitism,” by conservative commentator Liz Wheeler, and the “beginning of the end for DEI in America’s institutions,” by the conservative activist Christopher Rufo, who had helped publicize the plagiarism allegations against Claudine Gay.


When something is as consistently criticized and devalued as DEI programs have been, a toll is inevitably taken. That is certainly indicated by the latest hiring data for DEI professionals. According to data from labor market analytics company Lightcast, hiring for DEI positions in the US is down by 48% year over year, in the middle of an economic boom. Clearly, DEI investments are under attack.


And when you look at companies doing layoffs, DEI jobs are frequently high on the list of jobs to cut. I even heard a recent podcast with four well-known venture capitalists – three agreed that “doing away with DEI programs” was top on their list.


The value of DEI


Given this criticism of DEI programs, one could be forgiven for thinking such programs carry no value to HR and the wider business. Yet many companies invest in DEI programs, and the value is high in almost every case I come across.


Our Elevating Equity research in 2022 and 2023 found companies focus on diversity and inclusion for very pragmatic reasons, including:




  • An inclusive hiring strategy broadens and deepens the recruiting pool.

  • An inclusive leadership strategy drives a deeper leadership pipeline.

  • An inclusive management approach helps attract diverse customers and markets.

  • An inclusive board drives growth and market leadership. (proven statistically)

  • An inclusive supply chain program improves sustainability of the supply chain.

  • An inclusive culture creates growth, retention, and engagement in the employee base.


Organizations are not prioritizing DEI programs because they are woken or as a box-ticking exercise. They do so because DEI provides real and tangible business benefits. Workday, one of the most admired HR technology companies in the market, has pioneered DEI internally and through its products, and the company has outgrown and outperformed its competitors for years. Their product VIBE, an analytics system designed for this purpose, shows intersectionality, and helps companies set targets and find inequities in leadership, hiring, pay, and career development.


But some law firms have posited that these types of programs are illegal – is there a case to answer?


DEI legality


In response, it’s important to consider the massive and complex pay equity problem. Until the last few years, most companies had no problem paying people in very idiosyncratic ways. The Josh Bersin Company looked at leadership, succession, and pay programs worldwide last year and found that there are massive variations in pay with no clear statistical correlation in most larger companies.


This problem is called “pay equity,” and when you look at pay vs. gender, age, race, nationality, and other non-performance factors, most companies find problems. Is this a “DEI” program?


When we looked at pay equity in detail last year, we found that only 5% of companies have embarked on a strategic equity analysis. While most companies do their best to keep pay consistent with performance, these studies always find problems. Would it be considered illegal to analyze pay by race or nationality and then fix the disparities?


The future of DEI


DEI is undoubtedly a complex issue, and many organizations will be uncertain about the best course of action. Despite the current wave of criticism, there has been vast investment in DEI strategy over recent years, and business leaders are highly unlikely to let that fade away.


Despite the anti-woke movement, political debates, and the inability of Harvard, Penn, and other universities to speak clearly on these topics, businesses will not stop. Affirmative Action was not created to discriminate; it was designed to reduce discrimination. At the University of California, where Affirmative Action was halted in 1995, studies found that earnings among African American STEM graduates decreased significantly. So, one could argue that they were making a real difference.


DEI will not die – it is far too important for that to happen. However, it’s time to do away with the “DEI police” in HR and focus on embedding the principles of inclusion, fair pay, and open-minded discussions across all business units. Senior leaders must take ownership of this issue.


In the early 2000s, companies hired Chief Digital Officers to drive digital technology implementation, ideas, and strategies. As digital tools became commonplace, the role went away. We may be entering a period where the Chief Diversity Officer has a new role: putting the company on a track to embrace inclusion and diversity in every business area and spending less time pushing the agenda from a central group.


In every interview we conduct on this topic, we see overwhelming positive stories from various DEI strategies. Each successful company frames DEI as a business rather than an HR strategy. While HR-centric DEI investments are shrinking, it’s more like them migrating into the business where they belong.


中文翻译如下,仅供参考:













2024年,多样性、公平与包容(DEI)将走向消亡吗?作者:Josh Bersin

对于那些致力于多样性、公平与包容(DEI)领域的人士来说,2024年的开端无疑充满挑战。近期,DEI项目遭到了前所未有的集中攻击,包括一些“反觉醒”评论员和公众人物对其价值、意义乃至存在的质疑。

特别是随着Claudine Gay从哈佛大学的辞职,这种攻击愈发激烈。尽管她的辞职表面上与剽窃事件有关,但不难察觉,她作为DEI领域的领军人物,这一身份似乎也是辞职呼声高涨的一个重要因素。

这意味着,DEI正面临着前所未有的挑战。尽管高效的DEI项目能够为雇主和雇员带来众多益处,但人们仍担忧2024年可能成为DEI逐渐淡出视野的一年。这种情况发生的可能性有多大?如果真的发生,又会产生何种影响?

DEI与文化战争

近年来,无论是在美国还是全球其他大多数国家,你可能都会听说过“文化战争”。这场战争源于对机构的信任下降、不平等现象的加剧以及技术的广泛传播,涉及到试图强加自己意识形态的社会对立群体。

从学校课程内容、体育赛事中的下跪行为,到对“女性”定义的争议、以及工作场所中的代表性指控等,无一不被卷入这场文化战争。而DEI,在这场战争中虽不愿意却占据了核心位置。

人们普遍认为DEI项目倾向于“觉醒”,过分强调种族和性别因素,而忽视了成就和能力。2023年8月,一位律师成功对一家支持黑人创业者的风险投资公司提起诉讼。类似的诉讼也针对那些实施多样性招聘、奖学金和实习计划的公司提起。

Claudine Gay的辞职再次引发了对DEI项目的广泛讨论。保守派脱口秀主持人和作家Josh Hammer在社交媒体平台X上表示,击败Gay博士是“为文明理智而战的一大胜利”。保守派评论员Liz Wheeler称之为“对DEI、觉醒主义、反犹太主义及大学精英主义的沉重打击”,而保守派活动家Christopher Rufo则称这是“DEI在美国机构中走向终结的开始”。

如此一致的批评和贬低无疑对DEI项目造成了重创。根据劳动力市场分析公司Lightcast的数据显示,尽管经济蓬勃发展,但美国DEI相关职位的招聘量同比下降了48%。显然,DEI正面临严峻挑战。

当提到公司裁员时,DEI相关职位往往是裁减名单上的重点。我最近听到一个播客,四位知名风险投资家中有三位认为“取消DEI项目”是他们的首要任务。

DEI的价值

面对如此批评,人们或许会误以为DEI项目对人力资源和更广泛的商业活动没有任何价值。然而,实际上,许多公司对DEI项目的投资极具价值,几乎每个案例都能证明这一点。

我们在2022年和2023年的《提升公平研究》中发现,公司出于实际原因关注多样性和包容性,这包括:

  • 包容性招聘策略扩大了招聘范围。

  • 包容性领导力策略深化了领导力储备。

  • 包容性管理方式吸引了多元化的客户和市场。

  • 包容性董事会推动了市场增长和领导地位(这一点已通过统计数据得到证明)。

  • 包容性供应链项目提升了供应链的可持续性。

  • 包容性文化促进了员工的增长、留存和参与。


组织之所以优先考虑DEI项目,并非仅仅因为“觉醒”,或者作为勾选式行动。他们这样做是因为DEI确实带来了实际和有形的商业利益。例如,Workday这样的HR技术公司在市场上备受尊敬,它不仅在内部推广DEI,在其产品中也体现了这一点,多年来一直超越竞争对手的增长和表现。它们的产品VIBE,一个专门设计的分析系统,展示了交叉性,帮助公司设定目标,找出领导力、招聘、薪酬和职业发展中的不平等。

然而,一些律所提出这类计划可能违法——这是否成立呢?

DEI的合法性

面对这一问题,我们不得不考虑到复杂且广泛的薪酬公平问题。直到最近几年,大多数公司在个性化支付薪酬方面并未遇到太大问题。Josh Bersin Company去年对全球的领导力、继承计划和薪酬计划进行了研究,发现在许多大公司中,薪酬存在巨大差异,且大多没有明显的统计相关性。

这个问题被称作“薪酬公平”。当涉及到性别、年龄、种族、国籍等非绩效因素时,大多数公司都存在问题。那么,分析基于种族或国籍的薪酬差异并加以解决,这会被认为是非法的吗?

DEI的未来

DEI无疑是一个复杂的议题,许多组织对于采取何种措施感到不确定。尽管面临当前的批评浪潮,但近年来对DEI策略的巨大投资表明,商业领袖们不太可能让这一切付诸东流。

尽管存在反觉醒运动、政治辩论,以及哈佛、宾夕法尼亚大学等教育机构在这些议题上的模糊立场,但商界不会因此而停滞不前。平权行动的初衷不是为了歧视,而是为了减少歧视。例如,在加州大学,自从1995年停止实施平权行动以来,研究发现非洲裔美国人STEM专业毕业生的收入显著下降。因此,可以说这些措施确实产生了积极的影响。

DEI不会消亡——它对此太重要了。然而,现在是时候取消人力资源部门中的“DEI警察”,转而专注于在所有业务单元中嵌入包容性、公平薪酬和开放性讨论的原则。高级领导层必须对这一议题负起责任来。

回顾21世纪初,许多公司聘请首席数字官来推动数字技术的实施、创意和战略。随着数字工具成为常态,这一角色逐渐消失。我们可能正处于一个新的时期,首席多样性官的角色也在发生变化:不再是从中心团队推动议程,而是引导公司在每一个业务领域都拥抱包容性和多样性。

通过我们在这个话题上的每次采访,我们都能看到各种DEI策略的积极故事。每个成功的公司都将DEI视为一项业务策略,而非仅仅是人力资源策略。虽然以HR为中心的DEI投资正在减少,但这更像是它们向业务领域的转移,这正是它们应有的归属。