May 2, 2024 - News

💰 The Bay State doubles down on DEI

Illustration of a curved wireframe city with chess pieces falling from the air.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Massachusetts is pushing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs even as other states dismantle similar efforts amid a broad backlash.

Why it matters: As the Bay State loses people and talent, some view DEI initiatives as a way to expand local opportunities and stem the bleeding.

The big picture: Nearly a dozen states have restricted DEI programs at colleges and private workplaces following last year's Supreme Court ruling striking down affirmative action.

Yes, but: Since entering office, Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey has touted her administration's investment in diversifying work and business programs.

  • That includes skills training and early college admission to help reduce job shortages, plus setting new goals for government contracting with LGBTQ-owned businesses.

By the numbers: State spending on minority-owned businesses grew by $74.8 million (15%) in fiscal 2022, the most recent year with available data.

  • That growth is partly due to state training programs and government relationships with organizations like the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, Amplify Latinx and the Asian Business Empowerment Council.

Read on: How state agencies are retooling to prioritize DEI

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