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A blog by Leon Oudejans

Is DEI an oxymoron?

16 January 2024

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Early 2024, Axios published an article that American Companies are backing away from “DEI”, which stands for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In the view of Axios, DEI has become a “toxic term”.

It should be noted that the word Equity refers to “fair treatment” rather than to Shareholders’ Equity, although both seem – loosely – related.

DEI may have become a toxic term as those three words are, in my view, an oxymoron rather than a useful concept.

Most companies are focused on a particular product or service. Any (particular) focus results in a loss of a (full) perspective. Why would an IT or a technical company be interested in diversity and/or inclusivity?

Some public service companies might benefit from an increase in customers once their staff resembles their customers. However, the key word is service. Once the service becomes less, a decrease in customers is more likely.

In my view, DEI is a macro and/or a general term that usually cannot be applied to an individual or a micro situation. Hence, a society is often diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Generally, companies are not.

Until about the year 2000, companies were considered private property and a necessary provider of employment. This century, some people view companies as public property because unemployment is remote.

The above may explain why companies prefer a low public profile nowadays, and even a de-listing from the stock exchange (eg, NYSE).

“Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.”

A quote by American author Stephen R. Covey (1932-2012)

Agnus Dei (1967) by Samuel Barber (1910-1981)
composer, lyrics, video, Wiki-composer, Wiki-song

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.

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