This is the third of three features on how Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is harming the workplace.
In the World War II ‘Battle of Britain,’ the Royal Air Force (RAF) withstood crushing odds to hold off the Germans. Badly outnumbered, the British boasted the best pilots and aircraft in the world, and their underdog victory led Winston Churchill to proclaim, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”
How times have changed.
Recently, journalists discovered that the RAF is now turning away qualified pilots and instead selecting team members based on race and gender. A leaked email revealed that managers were desperately trying to fill diversity quotas. “I don't really need to see loads of useless white male pilots...I am more than happy to reduce boarding if needed to have a balanced BAME/female/Male board.”
In other words, the best and the brightest need not apply if they also happen to be the wrong gender or ethnicity. Imagine the outcome if this policy had been in place during World War II.
The fact is, the I in DEI (Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion) should stand for “ineffective,” because forced DEI policies often inflict tremendous damage to the core mission of business teams, and in the process render the workplace ineffective.
The American free market system, which has lifted more people out of poverty than any other economic system in world history, is built on effort, achievement, and outcomes. Everyone is free to work hard, produce value, and achieve success. This motivation lifts workers as high as their dreams will take them.
But DEI policies are an antithesis to the free market, awarding promotions and other benefits, based on gender and ethnicity rather than effort and achievement. In other words, rewards are determined based on who you are, not on what you do.
That fundamental dissonance with the free market engine is why DEI distorts the motivations and outcomes of the marketplace.
DEI’s Negative Impacts Are Becoming More Evident
Over the past decade, adoption of DEI policies has grown exponentially, particularly among “woke” corporations like those in the tech-rich Silicon Valley. Not surprisingly, employee engagement and motivation have also dropped precipitously, as effort and outcome are no longer prioritized.
Gallup’s 2023 State of the Global Workforce Report found that just 31% of workers are now “fully engaged” in the workplace. That’s less than one-third.
And the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that worker productivity has declined for 5 straight quarters, and is falling at its fastest rate in 75 years.
News stories are highlighting worker frustration with DEI policies, such as when Forbes recently documented cases of workers getting passed over for promotion because they were the wrong demographic, or when Reuters reported on how managers should answer difficult questions to pacify workers who are not diverse enough for well-earned recognition.
There is also evidence of growing pushback among those who have advanced due to DEI policies. Consider this viral TikTok video of a woman expressing her frustration at being a token for gender and race, rather than valued for her ideas and accomplishments. “They want your face on everything, major meetings don’t include you, your ideas are constantly stolen [and] you’re the only minority.”
It’s no wonder, then that Gallup’s State of the Workplace also found that 47% of all US employees will be looking for new jobs in the coming year. That equals nearly half of the US prime working-aged workforce, even after the “Great Resignation” of the past few years.
Clearly, the workplace is becoming less effective, and more contentious.
Disrupting The Team Dynamic
The rise of DEI has also given rise to divisions in the workplace as co-workers walk on eggshells in fear of being called a racist for criticizing a plan or another’s performance.
A case in point is Silicon Valley Bank, where the Chief DEI Officer had taken firm control of the workplace culture. Every week there was a new seminar or announcement about micro-aggressions or other DEI training. Insider reports tell the story of how analysts were too afraid to speak up about bad investments for fear of being accused of racism.
As a result, one of America’s most storied engines of innovation became ineffective and then bankrupt.
Even the Left is Beginning to Ask Questions.
These studies even prompted a recent New York Times column to ask, “What If Diversity Training Is Doing More Harm Than Good?”
But even with such evidence and self-reflection, many companies are still racing full steam ahead on DEI policies. Why? Because of browbeating and threats from left-leaning social engineering groups like the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
Every year HRC releases its Corporate Equality Index (CEI) which assigns DEI scores to companies. Boards of Directors are terrified of losing their perfect score.
Bud Light, Target, Nike? They’ve all fought harder to maintain their 100% CEI rating than they have to retain their customer base. Think about that. Corporate decisions are no longer being made based on company and shareholder value, just like workforce decisions are no longer being made on effort and outcomes.
Clearly, DEI policies are supplanting the free-market drivers of individual achievement and merit-based promotion. The result is a more divisive, exclusionary, and ineffective workplace – one that demeans morale for all employees. And, that’s producing a historic lack of productivity and a high rate of employee dissatisfaction and turnover.
The good news is, there’s a growing parallel economy that is rejecting the broken policies of DEI and CEI, and instead returning to the promises of the American free market – where every individual is free to work hard, improve their skills, and pursue their dreams without the DEI-created roadblocks.
RedBalloon is America’s #1 non-woke job board, and those companies that post their positions on RedBalloon believe in merit-based promotion and fairness without DEI mandates. Every employer on RedBalloon pledges to not discriminate against workers on the basis of demographics or to infringe on their employees’ constitutional rights. And tens of thousands of employees are leaving woke companies and coming to RedBalloon every week looking for work in the Freedom Economy.
If you are looking for reliable, effective workers, sign up with RedBalloon.work today.