“If you keep pushing diversity initiatives, you’re going to get sued.” “This company was so much better before it went woke.” “If you fixate on diversity, more important issues get ignored.”

If these sentiments sound familiar, that’s because in the wake of last year’s Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action, and subsequent legal challenges to small business and corporate programs aimed at increasing representation, corporations are using the threat of lawsuits and bad publicity to strip DEI budgets, reallocate resources, reorganize or eliminate staff, and generally put a pause on any diversity-adjacent efforts.

In this time of DEI uncertainty–a far cry from the 2020 spike in diversity efforts following the death of George Floyd and associated racial protests–many are left wondering what is the future of corporate DEI? And, in this era of DEI-downsizing, do these programs even still matter?

The answer is a resounding yes! Here are just some of the reasons why:

In December, the Congressional Black Caucus urged Corporate America to recommit to DEI. Many are calling for a revamp of DEI initiatives and programs, which could address some of the associated concerns, such as reverse discrimination. And, a presidential election is on the horizon, which will have unknown impacts on our political climate and government.

The aforementioned data paints a large-scale picture of why DEI programs are critically important in Corporate America. However, within your organization, you’ve likely seen benefits specific to your own programs. So, what can you do to help ensure that your DEI programs don’t lose traction? Gather data on your program’s efficacy. Talk to participants and learn about your program’s impact. Acquaint yourself with the current arguments in support of DEI programs. Then, equipped with this information, you’ll be prepared to demonstrate the value of your DEI programs to your leadership.

When something important is under attack, it takes a little extra work and passion to see it through. You can make a difference in the ongoing DEI battle, and keep your company on track. Remember, a rising tide raises all boats.