Companies Are Using Diversity Language More in US Job Postings

The pickup suggests businesses are looking past pressure from anti-DEI movements.

(Bloomberg) — US companies increased their use of some keywords related to diversity initiatives in job posts this year, in a sign firms are withstanding pressure to pare back on their diversity, equity and inclusion programs. 

Some 12% of US job posts contained the word “equity” in the first six months of 2023, compared with 10.1% last year, according to an analysis by Textio, a firm looking to help businesses created unbiased job ads. Mentions of “diversity” rose 1 percentage point to 31.6%.

The economic benefits of a workforce that represents the general population are driving companies to seek diverse staff, said Kieran Snyder, chief executive officer of Seattle-based Textio. In addition, more roles are impacted by DEI, such as the need for inclusive marketing. The changes in hiring language comes despite increasing pressure on companies to step away from DEI initiatives, particularly after the Supreme Court ruling against affirmative action in higher education raised concerns on spillovers into company policies.

“The reality for most businesses is that their customer bases are becoming more diverse, especially racially,” Snyder said. “If you don’t have a team that represents your customer demographics, you make products that don’t serve your customers. If you don’t serve your customers, you go out of business.”

The US high court decision has sparked a reckoning at some companies, with CEOs examining how the ruling might impact their own goals.  There is added pressure from conservatives and Republican politicians — a letter from Republican attorney generals to Fortune 100 CEOs that was delivered soon after the court ruling urged them to reassess their stated diversity targets. The tone marks a shift from messaging in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in 2020, when companies rushed to voice their commitment to social responsibility.

Textio compared the 6.6 million job posts by US companies in 2022 with the 5.6 million of listings in 2023. 

More stories like this are available on

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.