Corporate D&I

January 22, 2021 • Volume 31, Issue 4
Are businesses becoming more diverse and inclusive?
By Lisa Rabasca Roepe


Although corporate America spends billions annually on diversity and inclusion (D&I) programs, most companies have not made many gains in hiring a diverse workforce. An influential 2019 study by Coqual, a New York think tank, found that corporate America's efforts to increase diversity are failing, in part because of a reluctance to discuss race at the workplace. Efforts to improve D&I programs took on greater urgency in the wake of George Floyd's death in May and the nationwide protests against systemic racism that followed. CEOs from Walmart, PwC and other companies announced plans to fight economic and racial injustices, including strengthening their D&I efforts. Conservatives, however, argue that D&I training can be divisive and anti-American, and the Trump administration issued an executive order restricting government contractors and federal agencies from providing diversity training that includes such terms as white privilege. Incoming President Joe Biden is expected to undo this order, and he has appointed the most diverse Cabinet in the nation's history.

Damian Maldonado speaks with employee Ayesha Brewer in 2018 in Boulder, Colorado. (Getty Images/The Denver Post/Helen H. Richardson)
Damian Maldonado, left, co-owner of mortgage lender American Financing, talks with employee Ayesha Brewer in 2018 at their office in Aurora, Colo. His company has been stressing the importance of diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace, as have many other corporations in the wake of last summer's racial justice protests. (Getty Images/The Denver Post/Helen H. Richardson)
ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Feb. 11, 2022  Cultural Appropriation
Jan. 22, 2021  Corporate D&I
Oct. 30, 2020  Systemic Racism
Oct. 16, 2020  Monument Protests
Oct. 09, 2020  Police Under Scrutiny Updated
Aug. 23, 2019  Reparations for Slavery
Sep. 07, 2018  The STEM Gender Gap
Jan. 19, 2018  Future of Puerto Rico
Nov. 17, 2017  Affirmative Action and College Admissions
Jul. 28, 2017  Muslims in America
Mar. 10, 2017  Charter Schools
Sep. 23, 2016  Women in Leadership
Aug. 05, 2016  Diversity in Hollywood
May 13, 2016  Women in Combat
Jan. 08, 2016  Racial Conflict
Dec. 11, 2015  Transgender Rights
May 01, 2015  Community Colleges
Apr. 24, 2015  Native American Youths
Apr. 03, 2015  Latino Voters
Dec. 12, 2014  Police Tactics
Sep. 14, 2007  Racial Diversity in Public Schools Updated
Dec. 12, 2003  Black Colleges
Oct. 10, 1997  Diversity in the Workplace
Jan. 20, 1971  Ethnic America
Civil Rights and Civil Liberty Issues
Civil Rights Movement
Data and Statistics
Diversity Issues
Equal Employment Opportunity & Discrimination
General Social Trends
Infectious Diseases
Internet and Social Media
Protest Movements
Regulation and Deregulation
Women in the Workplace