In my previous post I explained the history of Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO). Affirmative Action and EEO are based on Presidential executive orders, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other laws. The EEO protected categories are race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, disability, age (age 40 or older), or genetic information.
In many companies Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion (DEI) is a replacement, updated version, or outgrowth of EEO. I look at DEI as an outgrowth or mature version of EEO. Affirmative Action and EEO came about in the 1960s, a time in the history of the United States (U.S.), when blacks were legally being allowed to enter spaces that were previously occupied by whites. DEI assumes the U.S. has matured and there is no longer a need to legally enforce the hiring and fair treatment of marginalized people.
The reality is a large portion of the U.S. has not matured and implementing DEI is an uphill battle. Just like Affirmative Action, DEI doesn’t equate to a quota system. Using a quota system, in 2023, to determine how you’re going to do business is antiquated. Affirmative Action, EEO, and now DEI aren’t about checking off boxes to see how many minorities a company employs. DEI is about creating a diverse workforce, at every level, so a company can leverage the diversity to benefit itself and its clients. Companies implement DEI because they see an increase in their return on investment.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org