How do mass layoffs affect diversity at work?  

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Companies hired during the pandemic, and there was a significant increase in the hiring rate of workers. But as time goes on, we observe widespread layoffs at global businesses, not just in India. This is the result of assuming the greater potential of companies and hiring employees without a futuristic mindset. With this article, we will understand the impact of mass layoffs on diversity at work.   

Since the beginning of 2023, 300 companies have laid off 100,000 workers. Layoffs can deeply impact the diversity of any company greatly.   

87% of the remaining staff from the laid-off employees do not suggest their organization is great to work in after the layoffs.

Along with the employees being laid off, there are effects on the employees who are left in the organization.   

What leads to layoffs?   

Companies were hiring in large numbers during the pandemic to meet consumer demands because they were reliant on technology at the time. But businesses began to understand in the middle of 2022 that there were fewer needs, which harmed sales. This is the rationale for the layoffs at large corporations.

Massive layoffs at major corporations like Meta, Amazon, Twitter, and Microsoft have a negative effect on the surviving staff.

Why diversity at work is impacted?  

There is poor diversity in tech as tech companies are most likely to hire minorities and women in departments other than tech. When there comes an occasion of laying off the staff or decreasing the headcounts, these people are most likely to be removed.   

For any tech company, the people with these roles are considered less valuable when it comes to laying off the staff as they will not be responsible for managing the product.   

For instance, Twitter laid off 57% of its female workers as compared to 47% of its male staff.


The employees can claim there is discrimination in the layoffs and can file an actual complaint against the company.  


How are the non-technical employees challenged?   

  • With the recession and layoffs at work, there is high uncertainty in jobs, especially for the non-technical workforce. Compared to the technical staff, getting a job is more difficult for non-technical people. For non-technical people, it is difficult to find a job in a good environment.   
  • Mostly, they end up in a toxic work culture that mostly comprises no diversity at work, equality, disrespect of the employees, and unethical behavior.   
  • Mostly all the women or members of the LGBTQ community are very selective of the place they are choosing to work because not all the places will make them feel included. Hence, when there are layoffs, it becomes difficult for this group to find companies where they will feel included.   
  • During the past years, there have been efforts from companies to increase inclusion in their companies. With the economic crunch, it is feared by the minority groups that these efforts can be taken back by the companies.   

How can companies do better?   

  • Even if the companies are thinking about layoffs too, they must ensure they keep in mind the diverse factors. They must see that they are not laying off people from a single team, ethnicity, or gender. You must keep out all the unconscious biases that come up during your layoff process.   
  • When you are making the list of the people who have not performed well in the year for the layoff, it will not be the right method to do so. Many critics think that companies do not have the right to decide who the least-performing employees are based on some criteria. As the job roles are different, the requirements will be different, and there must be different parameters to judge the performance.   
  • It is also not just about morality but the internal initiatives that companies take to ensure that minority groups are also climbing the ladder along with the other members of the company.   
  • Companies must have definite strategies for improving inclusion and diversity at work. They must understand the needs of every group and make policies accordingly.   

What are the methods you must follow?  

  • You must always approach the employees with empathy as the decision will affect their lives greatly.  
  • You must also consider the demographics when you are eliminating the roles. When you are laying off the workforce in a metropolitan city, there are more chances for the employees to get another job. Whereas in a smaller city, it will be difficult for them and mostly they have to relocate.   
  • Do not abandon your survivors and remind them they are important to the company and the organization valuing them.   
  • Do not put any kind of blame or burden on your employees who you are laying off.   

Layoffs are a big decision for any company, and the company must think it through to make the right decision. You must discuss it with your whole team before making any decisions.   

Yashika from Acadle

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