Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: Staying the Course in Uncertain Times

During times of financial distress, many institutions tend to disengage from important Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives (DEI). For example, during the economic crisis of 2009, while some colleges and universities held on to gains made with DEI efforts, many others cut resources to support DEI initiatives. Also, in the for-profit sector, many firms that had made strategic investments in DEI work cut jobs and initiatives meant to support those efforts. When times are good, institutions in the for profit and nonprofit sectors focus on DEI, but when there is distress and uncertainty, often DEI initiatives and departmental budgets that support the work are frozen or slashed.

It is understandable that DEI initiatives might be perceived as “nice to have” when times are good, but the reality is they are even more important when social and economic conditions are uncertain. New research shows that DEI efforts present a potent source of strength for organizations as they weather tough times.

Written by by George Suttles, commonfund
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