diversity

Trump administration discourages diversity hiring by contractors

WASHINGTON D.C. (KRON) – American companies promising to hire more Black employees in leadership roles and teach their workforce about racism are getting a message from President Donald Trump’s administration: Watch your step if you want to keep doing business with the federal government.

Trump’s Labor Department is using a 55-year-old presidential order spurred by the Civil Rights Movement to scrutinize companies like Microsoft and Wells Fargo over their public commitments to diversity. Government letters sent last week warned both companies against using “discriminatory practices” to meet their goals.

Microsoft has brushed off the warnings, publicly disclosing the government inquiry and defending its plan to boost Black leadership.

But advocates for corporate diversity initiatives worry that more cautious executives will halt or scale back efforts to make their workplaces more inclusive out of fear that a wrong step could jeopardize lucrative public contracts. The agency has oversight over the hiring practices of thousands of federal contractors that employ roughly a quarter of all American workers.

“For tech companies that don’t care about these issues, the pronouncements are a dog whistle that they can carry on discriminating the way they already have,” said Laszlo Bock, an executive who ran Google’s human resources division for more than a decade and now leads software startup Humu.

Bock said those who do care, however, will see Trump’s actions as political “sound and fury” that will be hard to enforce.

“It’s not at all illegal to strive to have a workforce that reflects the makeup of your nation,” Bock said.

Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1965 order was designed to “adjust the imbalances of hiring that are a legacy of our racist past,” said employment attorney and public contracting expert Daniel Abrahams.

“Trump is turning it around into an instrument of white grievances,” he added.

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Trump administration targets diversity hiring by contractors

American companies promising to hire more Black employees in leadership roles and teach their workforce about racism are getting a message from President Donald Trump’s administration: Watch your step if you want to keep doing business with the federal government.

Trump’s Labor Department is using a 55-year-old presidential order spurred by the Civil Rights Movement to scrutinize companies like Microsoft and Wells Fargo over their public commitments to diversity. Government letters sent last week warned both companies against using “discriminatory practices” to meet their goals.

Microsoft has brushed off the warnings, publicly disclosing the government inquiry and defending its plan to boost Black leadership.


But advocates for corporate diversity initiatives worry that more cautious executives will halt or scale back efforts to make their workplaces more inclusive out of fear that a wrong step could jeopardize lucrative public contracts. The agency has oversight over the hiring practices of thousands of federal contractors that employ roughly a quarter of all American workers.

“For tech companies that don’t care about these issues, the pronouncements are a dog whistle that they can carry on discriminating the way they already have,” said Laszlo Bock, an executive who ran Google’s human resources division for more than a decade and now leads software startup Humu.

Bock said those who do care, however, will see Trump’s actions as political “sound and fury” that will be hard to enforce.

“It’s not at all illegal to strive to have a workforce that reflects the makeup of your nation,” Bock said.

Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1965 order was designed to “adjust the imbalances of hiring that are a legacy of our racist past,” said employment attorney and public contracting expert Daniel Abrahams.

“Trump is turning it around into an instrument of white grievances,” he added.

The president has also

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Scottish Government Orders Edinburgh International Festival to Make Improvements to Diversity in its Programming

This comes after claims were made that women, disabled acts, and artists of color were overlooked in this year’s online programme.

The Edinburgh International Festival has been ordered to improve diversity in its programming by the Scottish Government, Edinburgh News reports.

This comes after claims were made that women, disabled acts, and artists of color were overlooked in this year’s online programme. The event will be monitored in the future to ensure it makes improvements.

Formal complaints made to culture secretary Fiona Hyslop and Iain Munro, chief executive of the government’s arts quango, Creative Scotland urged them to take steps to “ensure positive change happens and that this organisation is held accountable for their unethical working and programming.”

The festival responded, saying: “We make no excuses for our shortcomings and recognize that we are not yet where we want to be.”

EIF director Fergus Linehan and executive director Francesca Hegyi said: “Whilst we have made significant progress in some matters relating to diversity and inclusion over recent years, we know it isn’t enough.”

Read more on Edinburgh News.

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    A Contractor’s Guide To Trump’s Diversity Training Order

    Law360 (October 2, 2020, 5:42 PM EDT) — Federal contractors have long provided various types of anti-harassment, nondiscrimination and diversity and inclusion, or D&I, training to their employees. After the death of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that followed, D&I training has proliferated in workplaces across the country, including within federal agencies and in the contractor community.

    In response to the widespread public protests for racial equality, many companies and executives issued public statements denouncing racism. Many also pledged millions of dollars to social justice organizations. In numerous workplaces, employees have taken the initiative to organize book clubs and discussion circles focused specifically on promoting open workplace discussions…

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    Trump ban on ‘divisive’ and ‘anti-American’ training for federal contractors has workplace diversity experts worried

    Diversity and inclusion training providers are concerned recent strides in corporate America to address racial and gender disparities will take a back seat after President Donald Trump ordered restrictions on racial sensitivity training for federal contractors.



    a man standing in front of a computer: Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory test X-ray equipment for the scientific investigation of an 1,800 year-old Egyptian mummy at the Advanced Photon Source on Nov. 27, 2017.


    © Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
    Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory test X-ray equipment for the scientific investigation of an 1,800 year-old Egyptian mummy at the Advanced Photon Source on Nov. 27, 2017.

    Many Chicago-area companies expanded their workplace diversity training programs earlier this year following the civil unrest resulting from George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police in May.

    The topics of white privilege, systemic racism and unconscious bias have become focal points in those programs, consultants say. Now, they’re the target of an order from Trump cutting off funding to contractors who teach “divisive” and “anti-American” concepts.

    Last week, Trump signed an executive order that bars federal contractors from promoting race or sex stereotyping or scapegoating in their diversity training programs. Companies could risk losing contracts if they don’t comply.

    The Chicago area is home to some of the biggest federal contractors, including aerospace manufacturer Boeing and medical device maker Abbott Laboratories, which recently inked a deal with the federal government to provide 150 million rapid COVID-19 antigen tests. Neither responded to requests for comment.



    a large building: Argonne National Lab's Advance Photon Source building on March 15, 2019.


    © Abel Uribe / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
    Argonne National Lab’s Advance Photon Source building on March 15, 2019.

    Under the order, contractors are prohibited from teaching concepts that “promote divisiveness in the workplace and distract from the pursuit of excellence and collaborative achievements in public administration.”

    Contractors can’t teach that the U.S. is fundamentally racist or sexist, claim members of a certain race are oppressors or put blame on a certain race or sex for past actions committed by other members of the

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