Mark Cuban defends diversity, equity and inclusion policies even as critics swarm

Urban League’s Marc Morial on efforts to end DEI programs

Urban League’s Marc Morial on efforts to end DEI programs


As some of the nation’s largest employers wind down their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, Mark Cuban is defending the policies this week, calling the practice “positive” for business.

The billionaire, co-owner of the Dallas Mavericks and judge on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” said in a post on X (formerly Twitter) that his experience as an entrepreneur and investor shows that companies that embrace DEI tend to be more successful.

“I own or invest in hundreds of companies,” he says wrote. “I know DEI is positive because I see its impact on the bottom line. This has been reiterated by many CEOs.”

Cuban’s remarks followed criticism he received earlier this week from Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson and conservative activist Christopher Rufo, both vocal opponents of DEI. in their own postsPeterson and Rufo accused Cuban of being a wealthy liberal elite who tries to appear sympathetic to people from historically marginalized communities.

The statements by Cuban and his critics mark the latest chapter in an ongoing debate over the effectiveness and fairness of policies aimed at making organizations more diverse and inclusive.

Although many businesses, colleges and other organizations have followed DEI principles for decades in the United States, these ideas gained momentum four years ago after the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. After his death, companies committed to strengthening their DEI efforts, with the goal of making their workforces more racially and culturally representative.

More recently, however, companies have gone back on these commitments, laying off their DEI officers and reducing related training. Companies such as Alphabet and Meta have each eliminated DEI-related positions, as well as provided developmental training for minority hires.

University systems in Florida, Texas and Wisconsin We also see DEI efforts on campus winding down. And in a survey of more than 100 global leaders of large organizations, UK-based consultancy Arrival found that DEI initiatives were no longer on executives’ top priority lists.

Backlash after University of Florida cuts DEI jobs


Opponents of DEI, many of whom identify as conservatives, argue that these efforts amount to reversing racism because they prioritize the hiring and promotion of people of color. Supporters of the framework say it is to help promote equality and representation of people of different races, genders and abilities.

“We can quibble over tactics and strategies, but we cannot abandon the idea that a 21st century America – a strong nation – must provide equal pathways to opportunity for people,” Marc said Morial, CEO of the Urban League, on CBS New York in February.

For businesses, research on the business benefits of DEI is mixed. For example, a 2023 study by marketing firm TechTarget found that DEI can improve a company’s brand image, make it more competitive, and drive innovation. But other research has raised the question of whether prioritizing diversity and inclusion helps improve companies’ financial performance.


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