The promise of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programs has been a massive failure. So many large organisations jumped on the bandwagon, wanting to show how virtuous they were, but many are now regretting doing so.

These programs are an example of absurd left-wing wokeism and Marxist dogma. Companies, universities and NGOs are finally waking up to not only DEI’s unrealistic objectives but also its racist and ridiculous methodology.

In the USA, DEI officers are deserting the cause. Two years ago, chief diversity officers were some of the hottest hires into executive ranks. Now, they increasingly feel left out in the cold. What happens there will surely also be the case here in Australia.

Companies including Netflix, Disney, and Warner Bros.Discovery have recently said that high-profile diversity, equity and inclusion executives will be leaving their jobs.

Thousands of diversity-focused workers have been laid off since last year, and some companies are scaling back racial justice commitments.

For those accepting these jobs, taking on additional job titles and responsibilities gives them job security. Executives are beginning to realize that these hires are not beneficial to the company, however that is measured.

This month the University of Florida announced that it’s firing all DEI staff in order to comply with new state rules that prohibit DEI-related expenditures in the state’s college system.

Officials at the University of Florida announced the decision in a March 1 administrative memo, which indicates that the educational institution “has closed the Office of the Chief Diversity Officer, eliminated DEI positions and administrative appointments, and halted DEI-focused contracts with outside vendors.”

The firings are motivated by the introduction of a new rule in January that restricts the allocation of public funds for DEI initiatives within Florida’s college system.

The Florida Board of Education, which introduced the new rule, said in a statement that the move would “ensure that taxpayer funds can no longer be used to promote DEI on Florida’s 28 state college campuses.”

The University of Florida memo says that the people impacted by the DEI-related firings will get 12 weeks pay. They are also “allowed and encouraged” to apply for different positions at the university, with officials promising “expedited consideration” and fast-tracking of interviews.

In addition to the firings and the halting of DEI-related contracts with vendors, the University of Florida will also reallocate its roughly $5 million DEI budget into a faculty recruitment fund.

“The University of Florida is – and will always be – unwavering in our commitment to universal human dignity,” the memo states. “As we educate students by thoughtfully engaging a wide range of ideas and views, we will continue to foster a community of trust and respect for every member of the Gator Nation.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis reacted positively to news of the DEI-related changes at the University of Florida.

“Florida is where DEI goes to die,” wrote Mr. DeSantis, who has been a vocal critic of DEI and related initiatives.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and wife Casey

Charlie Kirk, founder and president of Turning Point USA, a conservative student movement, called attention to the University of Florida’s move and encouraged other states to take similar actions.

“Conservatives are finally fighting back. Every red (Republican) state must follow suit as soon as humanly possible. This is the way,” Mr. Kirk wrote in a post on X.

In January, the Florida Board of Education adopted a new rule limiting the use of public funds for DEI-focused programs, activities, and policies in the state’s college system.

The rule defines DEI as “any program, campus activity, or policy that classifies individuals on the basis of race, colour, sex, national origin, gender identity, or sexual orientation and promotes differential or preferential treatment of individuals on the basis of such classification.”

The rule change bans institutions within the Florida college system institutions from using state or federal funds to administer programs that “categorize individuals based on race or sex for the purpose of differential or preferential treatment” or generally meet the state’s definition of DEI.

“Higher education must return to its essential foundations of academic integrity and the pursuit of knowledge instead of being corrupted by destructive ideologies,” Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz Jr. said in a statement.

“These actions today ensure that we will not spend taxpayers’ money supporting DEI and radical indoctrination that promotes division in our society,” he added.

Governor DeSantis has vowed to reform higher education across the state while condemning controversial programs such as DEI and related ideologies and policies such as Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) guidelines for businesses, and Critical Race Theory (CRT) taught in schools.

Lawmakers have expressed concern that programs teaching CRT and promoting social justice activism focused on race and gender are divisive, racist, and sexist.

Much like Florida’s targeting of DEI programs in higher education, the Iowa State Board of Regents voted in November to slash DEI-focused initiatives at universities, scaling back or eliminating them entirely.

One of the newly adopted recommendations calls on universities to develop policies prohibiting the consideration of race and other protected class characteristics and that all programs be made available to all students, not just groups selected on race, gender etc.

Another adopted recommendation calls on universities to ensure that no employee, student, applicant, or campus visitor be required to submit a statement of support for DEI.

Also, schools should take steps to ensure that employees and students are not forced to disclose their pronouns.

We need to follow suit here in Australia.

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