Big tech layoffs are hitting diversity and inclusion jobs hard

4 days ago 34

SAN FRANCISCO – At Twitter, the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) team is down to just two people from 30, one former employee said.

A DEI worker who was let go from a popular ride-share company said their job search has stalled as other technology companies assess their finances. And just before getting the axe at separate tech giants this fall, two DEI specialists said leadership had stopped setting long-term goals for their departments entirely. 

The layoffs sweeping the technology industry are gutting diversity and inclusion departments, threatening company pledges to boost underrepresented groups in their ranks and leadership.

Listings for DEI roles were down 19 per cent last year – a bigger decline than legal or general human resources jobs saw, according to findings from Textio, which helps companies create unbiased job ads. Only software engineering and data science jobs saw larger declines, at 24 per cent and 27 per cent, respectively. 

Bloomberg News identified DEI professionals who lost their jobs in recent weeks at, Meta Platforms, Twitter and Redfin. Many said they expect their responsibilities will go to former colleagues who remain or to employee resource groups, which often don’t get compensated for that work.

A spokesman for Amazon said the company’s DEI priorities haven’t changed and the company remains committed to its goals. A Redfin spokesman said the company has invested in growing its DEI team since 2021, and despite a recent layoff the group is larger than it was at the start of 2022. A representative for Meta declined to comment. 

“I’m cautiously concerned – not that these roles will go to zero but that there will be a spike in ‘Swiss army knife’ type roles,” meaning more DEI professionals will be spread thin as they take on additional job functions, said Textio chief executive officer Ki...

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