Elon Musk criticises Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts at Tesla, calls them 'propaganda words'
Writing on X (formerly Twitter), a social-media platform he owns, Musk said, 'DEI must DIE', adding that ‘the point was to end discrimination, not replace it with different discrimination.’
Billionaire Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Inc., claimed that Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives replace discrimination with "different discrimination", labelling them "propaganda words", despite the company's commitment to promoting such programs.
Tesla's DEI Initiatives
Despite Musk's views, Austin-headquartered Tesla, which operates factories in New York, Texas, Nevada, and California, has continually highlighted its DEI efforts, as per a Bloomberg report.
The company released its inaugural DEI report in December 2020, integrating these efforts into subsequent annual impact reports. Tesla's 2022 Impact Report claimed it is a "majority-minority" employer, adding that the company has substantial representation of individuals from historically underrepresented communities in the United States.
Tesla has organised recruitment events specifically targeting women and students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic-Serving Institutions, as per the report. Additionally, it has hosted internal events to celebrate diversity among employees, established Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), and introduced an internal DEI newsletter in 2022.
Legal Challenges Faced
Notably, however, Tesla faced legal challenges in 2022. California's civil rights agency filed a lawsuit citing "rampant racism" on behalf of Black workers at Tesla's Fremont factory. Similarly, in September 2023, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Tesla for alleged racial harassment against Black workers.
Tesla in its impact report said, "Inclusion is everyone’s responsibility. From day one during onboarding, employees are exposed to our DEI principles and are encouraged to join Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) — led by passionate individuals who care about creating a strong community experience within Tesla."
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