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Don’t Let the Flames of DEI Extinguish

First published on LinkedIn.


Welcome to 2024!

So, things are changing crazy fast in business, right? Pivoting is like the secret sauce – opens doors for more cash flow, keeps you in the loop with trends, and sparks genius ideas after dabbling in different stuff. It's like a business refresh button.

Now, let's unpack some stats about companies diving into DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging). Since 2022, 47% are doing "employee listening" like surveys, while 36% are beefing up their DEI teams. ERGs (Employee Resource Groups) are the cool kids, with 35% more companies supporting them.

But wait, there's drama. Big tech players like Amazon, X, Meta, Microsoft, and Refin are slashing their DEI teams. X went from 30 DEI staff members to just 2 – a 93% drop! Amazon's laying off 18,000 folks, hitting DEI roles hard. One in three DEI pros lost jobs in a year, while other positions had a lower layoff impact at 21%.

Sounds like a DEI alarm, right? How do we keep DEI alive? Let's brainstorm!

Alright, in order to keep DEIB front and center in 2024, here's some recommendations:

  1. First off, tweak your game plan to sync with what the company's all about. Check if your DEIB goals match your company values and big strategic goals. Metrics, KSAs, and OKRs on the menu? Make sure your DEIB strategy orders the same.

  2. Don't forget the money talk – DEIB should be a business MVP, boosting employee engagement, retention, and the bottom line. Shuffle those resources wisely. Budget, time, and talent – it all counts. McKinsey says smart resource moves mean bigger shareholder potential.

  3. Watch out for AI hiring tools – they might be a hit or a miss in making the job of recruiting and interviewing easier. Having problems with bias, data chaos, and cranky candidate problems? This is a sign that it's time to check the impact of your AI tools on the candidate experience and talent pipeline.

  4. Think big on DEIB opportunities. Get creative. Embed equity & belonging in the company's DNA, spark self-education sessions, and share diversity observations - like the ones provided below for the month of January. 

  5. Time for a DEIB team makeover. New faces, new energy. Different work areas, teams – mix it up. Treat your DEIB team like the important department it is. Some team building can work wonders to reinvigorate and reengage staff doing this important work under the new pressures to cancel DEI.

So...wrapping it up – no quick fixes here. Changing things up isn't just about adding more faces or throwing in extra resources. It's a slow dance, intentional, and deliberate. It requires time, commitment, and resilience – all the good stuff. But results need their sweet time to show up - it's a marathon...not a sprint.

Just like any other business plan, pivoting is your go-to move. Keep that strategy fresh and on point. Don't hesitate to reach out if you want to partner on creating or refreshing your 2024 DEIB strategy!


  • National Mentoring Month: Each January, we come together as a community to ignite those passions and help turn those wildest dreams into reality with National Mentoring Month. By harnessing our collective voice, we can advocate for mentorship, legislative priorities, and raise awareness for how one conversation, one experience, and one mentor can change a young person’s life.

  • Poverty in America Month: Hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion, disabilities, restricted access to participation in the democratic process. These are just some of the many manifestations of poverty. More than 40 million Americans live in poverty, but we can eradicate poverty. As Nelson Mandela said, "Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the action of human beings."

  • World Braille Day - January 4: Every year on January 4th, World Braille Day reminds us of the importance of accessibility and independence for those who are blind or visually impaired. About 36 million people around the world are blind. By 2050, the number of people diagnosed with blindness is predicted to rise to 115 million. Those who are blind or who have severe vision impairments face many challenges in life. Some of these challenges include navigating new environments, using a computer, handling cash, and arranging clothes.

  • Korean American Day - January 13: Korean American Day on January 13th commemorates the arrival of the first Korean immigrants to the United States in 1903. The day also honors the Korean American's immense contributions to every aspect of society.

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day - January 15: Martin Luther King Day, often abbreviated as MLK Day, is a federal holiday in the United States that honors the civil rights leader and activist, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year (on or close to Dr. King’s birthday on January 15th). The holiday serves as a time for reflection, community service, and the celebration of Dr. King’s contributions to the civil rights movement.

  • National Day of Racial Healing - January 16: The National Day of Racial Healing is a time to contemplate our shared values and create the blueprint together for #HowWeHeal from the effects of racism. Launched in 2017, it is an opportunity to bring ALL people together in their common humanity and inspire collective action to create a more just and equitable world.

  • Thank Your Mentor Day - January 21: This is a day to express gratitude and appreciation towards your mentor. Mentors are extremely honorable people who help people in dire need of life support (not medical life support, mind you!) and elevate them from a crisis. These people make remarkable differences in the lives of others and so they deserve a day of their own to be honored as a mentor.

  • International Day of Education - January 24: Without inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong opportunities for all, countries will not succeed in achieving gender equality and breaking the cycle of poverty that is leaving millions of children, youth and adults behind. Today, 250 million children and youth are out of school, and 763 million adults are illiterate. Their right to education is being violated and it is unacceptable. It's time to transform education.

  • National Fun Day at Work - January 26: Whether you work for a small office or a large organization, injecting fun into the workplace is a great way to bond with coworkers, boost team morale, gain inspiration, and even increase productivity. National Fun at Work Day was created to foster happiness and humor in the office and bring employees together. So, rally your coworkers and bosses and brainstorm ways to best celebrate.

  • International Holocaust Remembrance Day - January 27: The United Nations General Assembly designated January 27—the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau—as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this annual day of commemoration, the UN urges every member state to honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides.

Until next month... Be well and stay safe & healthy!


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