Three years after diversity pledges swept corporate America, there’ve been some rumblings that such commitments have fallen to the wayside. That might be true—although time will tell—but new data suggests that certain sectors, regions, and cities are more likely to prioritize diversity programs.
But the picture is not totally bleak. While some sectors appear to have grown laxer in DEI commitments, others have continued to push forward by offering access to training, programs, and resources for employees. Glassdoor recently released a regional breakdown of which cities are most likely to be home to companies that offer diversity programs.
According to Glassdoor’s report, the top five cities that are most likely to provide access to diversity programs are:
—Seattle, WA (73%)
—Las Vegas, NV (71%)
—San Francisco, CA (70%)
—Boston, MA (68%)
—Charlotte, NC (66%)
The Pacific and Middle Atlantic regions are among the top places to report having widespread access to diversity programs. (The below chart shows the share of companies where employees indicate they have access to a diversity program.)
So why the regional divide in diversity prioritization? According to Glassdoor chief economist Aaron Terrazas, cities like Seattle and San Francisco have highly-skilled workforces and large employers that tend to value DEI initiatives because they help recruit a broader, and often younger, talent pool. He points to Las Vegas as a slight outlier due to its many different industries and heavy union activity since the city’s workforce largely comes from the leisure, hospitality, and gaming sectors.
“[Las Vegas] is one of the most highly unionized parts of the country, and those kinds of unions do tend to offer some kind of diversity training programs through the union rather than through the employer,” Terrazas says.
Rankings can, at times, feel trivial, but Terrazas says people leaders should mirror companies in areas where diversity programs are widespread because prospective employees prioritize DEI. And they’re willing to move companies, both figuratively and geographically, for an employer that aligns with their values.
“The data suggests that for younger employees and employees who have historically sat on the margins of the labor force—women and people of color—these programs are extremely important,” says Terrazas. “Sooner or later, the pendulum of the labor market will swing back, and if you don’t invest in programs that these people care about, they’re going to leave once they have other options.”
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What happened to the fervor surrounding diversity in 2020? Daniel Oppong, founder of DEI consultancy The Courage Collective, believes many DEI efforts have since become performative, hampering progress.
“‘Whiplash’ is exactly what happens when organizations espouse DEI values on the outside, but fail to operationalize and prioritize said values on the inside,” he tells Time. “At its best, the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion can yield transformative organizational outcomes, but at its worst, DEI work can devolve into a series of performative platitudes that erode trust and disappear once public pressure subsides.”
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– Goldman Sachs began layoffs on Tuesday, in line with its plan to cut 3,200 jobs. It’s the bank’s largest round of layoffs since the 2008 financial crisis. New York Times
– JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon walked back some negative comments on the economy and said the firm would continue its hiring plans despite industry-wide layoffs. MarketWatch
– New York City mayor Eric Adams announced a proposal on Monday to turn the city’s unused office space into 20,000 apartments, reflecting the continued challenge cities face as remote work leaves offices vacant. Gothamist
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Crypto cuts. Coinbase announced that it would lay off 25% of its workforce, about 950 people, amid broader staffing cuts ripping through the crypto industry. —Leo Schwartz
Calendar cleanse. Shopify is canceling all recurring meetings with more than two people for the foreseeable future. Some experts say the move could hurt remote workers, who rely on meetings to interact with colleagues across the organization. —Orianna Rosa Royle
End of jobs. A new Deloitte report finds that most corporate leaders believe there will be a shift away from the traditional concept of “jobs” and a more skill-based approach to talent. —Alan Murray, Claire Zillman
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