The layoffs that have swept the world will not only affect the economy, but also greatly regress the diversity and inclusion within the enterprise. This article will provide four ways for enterprises to maintain a pluralistic and inclusive constitution when the economy is down.

The wave of layoffs shows no signs of stopping in 2023. According to research and research agency , American technology companies have laid off more than 330,000 employees from 2022 to the first quarter of 2023, and the number of people in the first quarter of this year alone exceeded the total of last year.

This wave of layoffs in the technology industry has triggered concerns and discussions in the American society about whether the economy is about to enter a recession, as well as innovation, salary structure, talent development and other aspects in the industry.

But a more implicit but potentially far-reaching issue is also worth paying attention to, that is, the development and investment of companies to create a diverse and inclusive working environment for DEI have been frustrated.

(Screening: Make DEI the Singularity Leading for Enterprises!) 2022 Women's Fan Diversity and Inclusion Vision Award: Diverse Hiring, Employee Growth, High Belonging Work Environment)

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Layoffs set DEI back development

The numbers speak for themselves, so let's use several metrics to illustrate the relationship between layoffs and DEI.

Over the past decade, many companies have made several investments in Facilitation Organization (DEI) programs, and since 2017, more than 2,400 business leaders across industries have signed an agreement pledge to create a more inclusive company culture.

However, according to a survey by research agency Textio, the number of DEI job recruitments in global companies in 2022 fell by 19% compared with the previous year, and companies have slowed down the pace of recruitment.

Looking at the overall numbers at the macro may be insensitive, so let's focus on the flesh-and-blood parties behind the numbers.

Recently, a post appeared on LinkedIn from the sharing economy platform Lyft, a former employee of the DEI department.

The employee said that almost all employees in the company's DEI department were laid off; Bloomberg also said that Twitter's DEI team has been cut from the original 30 people to just two people. Sandra Quince, CEO of Paradigm for Parity, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting DEI, bluntly said that "cutting DEI budgets will become a trend."

In 2022, the number of people recruited for each position worldwide decreased by percentage, and the DEI decreased by 19%.

What is the value of DEI to a business?

You may be curious, in the case of economic downturn, why can't companies temporarily sacrifice DEI to maintain the stability of the company's financial flow?

The answer is simple: talent.

According to LinkedIn survey, 77% of HR experts worldwide believe that DEI is the key to successful recruitment of talents in the future. The McKinsey survey found that companies in the top quartile of "diverse team composition" were 36% more profitable than those in the bottom quartile.

Closer to Taiwan, according to women's fans  In the 2022 Workplace Diversity and Inclusion 1,000 People Survey, up to 96% of subjects believe that whether the workplace is diverse and inclusive will be a key decision-making factor in their decision to join the team.

It can be seen that "DEI" will be the singularity of whether the enterprise can attract talents and continue to lead the next decade or two, so it should not be the first to be abandoned in the difficult time of the enterprise.

(Guess what you want to see: Women's Fans Announces 2022 Women's Workplace Survey Results!) 94% of women say they discriminate in the workplace and want to improve a diverse and inclusive environment)

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Four ways to tell you how we can handle layoffs more gently

Provide you with four ways to handle layoffs without creating a gap between leaders and employees.

1. To determine the list of layoffs, please consider the overall proportion of employees

Take Netflix's recently released layoff list as an example, because the overall employee race and gender ratio is not taken into account, most of the list is employees with marginalized status. Afterwards, even though Netflix claimed that they were only prioritizing the layoffs of new employees, it was still interpreted by the outside world as an abnormal single-handedly singled out underrepresented employees.

Second, empathy to deal with layoffs

Please be full of empathy in the process, care about the feelings of the other party, and clearly inform the reasons for the decision and the decision-making process in the principle of being as transparent as possible, and do not forget to provide support and provide information about the company's support system.

Big taboo: Just talk about the company reorganization.

(To you: What is pluralistic inclusion? DEI FAQ|Create DEI diversity and inclusion, five must-know to attract talents)

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3. Flexible severance scheme

Rather than paying severance based solely on seniority, it is better to set a basic compensation that can be obtained regardless of seniority. After all, new employees may give up other job opportunities in order to join the company.

4. Take care of employees who have not been laid off

In a study by Leadership IQ, survivor guilt was common among employees who kept their jobs during layoffs, and 74 percent said they had become less productive since the layoffs.

Psychological safety will be what this group of guilt-stricken employees needs, perhaps by encouraging retained employees to connect with former employees, pitch out, share LinkedIn recommendations, and provide references.
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I hope that after seeing these figures and phenomena, we can take action, so that the voices advocating diversity and racial justice will no longer lose their voices.