In a series of moves conducted quietly compared to the bombast and publicity of their creation, ‘Big Tech’ mega-corporations Alphabet, the parent company of Google, Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, and Amazon, have drastically cut their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs. Reports have revealed that DEI staff, leadership, and trainers have been laid off and downsized, while budgets have been slashed by as much as 90%.
After the 2020 George Floyd/BLM riots both firms made prominent public commitments to invest heavily in DEI, polarizing their customer bases by cozying up to the progressive identitarian left, while alienating conservatives.
In timing with the start of 2024, the internet abounds with the meme ‘How it started. How it’s going,’ along those lines, we can glean the following from CNBC’s reporting as the outlet wrote: “in 2023, some of those programs are in retreat.”
How it started:
“Google’s vocal commitments included improving representation of underrepresented groups in leadership by 30% by 2025; more than doubling the number of Black workers at nonsenior levels by 2025; addressing representation issues in hiring, retention and promotions; and establishing better support for the mental and physical health for Black employees.”
How it’s going:
“By mid-2023, DEI-related job postings had declined 44% from the same time a year prior, according to data provided by job site Indeed. In November 2023, the last full month for which data was available, it dropped 23% year over year.
That’s a sharp contrast with the period from 2020 to 2021, when those postings expanded nearly 30%.
In line with this broader trend, both Google and Meta
have cut staffers and downsized programs that fell under DEI investment.”
Melinda Briana Epler, founder and CEO of Empovia, one of many third-party firms who have cashed in on the DEI bonanza claimed to the outlet, “Whenever there is an economic downturn in tech, some of the first budgets that are cut are in DEI, but I don’t think we’ve seen such stark contrast as this year.” However, as CNBC reported, while the massive cuts have hit the third-party companies hard, the big tech firms saw continued growth throughout 2021-2023.
Devika Brij, CEO of Brij the Gap Consulting, another DEI-focused firm told the news site that some of the big tech firms had cut approximately 90% of their DEI budgets by mid-2023. “When George Floyd began to become the topic of conversations, companies and executives doubled down on their commitments and here we are only a couple years later, and folks are looking for opportunities to cut those teams,” he said.
In his speech to #AmFest at Phoenix in December, Donald Trump, Jr. told the conservative audience, “The house of cards that DEI is built on crumbles when there’s actual accountability for the BS that is DEI.”
In various statements, the big tech firms have attempted to manage the PR implosion with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement reported by The New York Post, “As I’ve talked about efficiency this year, I’ve said that part of our work will involve removing jobs — and that will be in service of both building a leaner, more technical company and improving our business performance to enable our long-term vision.”
A Meta spokesman told Fox News that the firm is still committed to its DEI initiatives however, “Our commitment to DEI remains at the center of who we are as a company,” a Meta spokesperson said. “We continue to intentionally design equitable and fair practices to drive progress across our people, product, policy and partnerships pillars.”
Similarly, Margaret Callahan, a spokesperson for Amazon told the outlet, “Our DEI priorities have not changed, and we remain committed to building a more inclusive and diverse Amazon.”
A spokesman for Google told Fox that the “workforce reductions” are designed to “sharpen” the company’s focus. “Our workforce reductions and company-wide efforts to sharpen our focus span the breadth of our business,” the spokesman said. “To be absolutely clear, our commitment to this work has not changed and we invested in many new programs and partnerships this year.”