As American businesses navigate evolving social, legal, and political dynamics, many are rebranding their diversity and inclusion efforts. Companies like Starbucks, Eli Lilly, and Molson Coors are replacing explicit terms like “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)” with broader concepts such as “talent” and “inclusive culture.”

Key Changes:

  • Eli Lilly: Removed “DEI” from its annual proxy statement while emphasizing workforce diversity.
  • Starbucks: Shifted representation goals to “talent” metrics for executive bonuses, while maintaining diversity targets.
  • Molson Coors: Rebranded its “People & Planet” metrics to focus on fostering an “inclusive culture.”

Legal considerations, like the Supreme Court’s ruling on affirmative action, have led many companies to revise their diversity strategies. Despite the changes, a majority of surveyed executives remain committed to enhancing inclusion programs.

Consultant Perspectives:

  • Johnny C. Taylor Jr. (SHRM): Advocates prioritizing inclusion by rebranding DEI to “IED” (Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity).
  • Eric Ellis (Integrity Development): Notes that rebranding diversity programs has occurred periodically since the civil rights movement.
  • Rhonda Moret (Elevated Diversity): Highlights a shift towards “Leadership and Inclusion” while balancing terminology changes with core values.

While the terminology is evolving, the goal remains consistent: fostering diverse, inclusive workplaces that reflect company values and comply with the changing legal landscape.

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