Black Lives Matter. Diversity pledges. Anti-racist layoffs. These are just a few of the buzz phrases heard from brands and agencies after the killing of George Floyd in 2020. We listened as some of the country’s leading brands made commitments to the African American community and—for the first time in history—felt heard and seen.
It didn’t last long.
As quickly as companies rushed to hire more diverse voices, many of those same efforts are quickly being undone. Every other day we are hearing the news of layoffs and hiring freezes from companies once known as “unicorns” with the ability to pay you exactly what you dreamed. Now it’s clear that the industry is tightening its belt. This tightening is leaving hundreds of thousands of employees out of work—and more wondering if they’ll have a job within the next few months. Job market growth has seemingly come to an end—and so has the fight for diversity.