Tesla removed language concerning minority workers in its latest regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), following comments from company CEO Elon Musk on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives.
DEI refers to the general efforts of human resource departments and other hiring entities to improve inclusivity in the corporate world, typically accomplished by maintaining diverse workforces. The term has recently seen an uptick in interest following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to end race-based admissions at colleges and universities, although the ruling has no impact on the practices of private or public businesses.
The following text in support of DEI appeared in the electric vehicle maker’s previous annual 10-K filing presented to the SEC but was left out of this year’s submission: “With a majority-minority workforce, empowering our employee resource groups to take charge in driving initiatives that attract, develop and retain our passionate workforce is vital to our continued success.”
In last year’s filing, the EV brand additionally referred to partnerships with external institutions organized to obtain sponsorships for worker-run minority support groups. Tesla called these networks “key business resources and sources of actionable feedback.” The company also cited efforts to work with suppliers from underrepresented communities. Neither of these statements nor any mention of diversity or pro-equity hiring practices appeared in any other section of the automaker’s 10-K submission.
The decision to omit references to DEI initiatives in this year’s filing comes just weeks after Tesla chief Elon Musk posted a series of comments attacking diversity and inclusion efforts in corporate America on his privately-owned social media platform X. “DEI must DIE,” he commented, after calling DEI itself “just another word for racism.”
Musk is currently seeking 25% ownership of Tesla, nearly double his current stake of 13%. Earlier this week, a Delaware judge blocked a $56 billion pay package the CEO had negotiated with the EV brand’s board. In the first three weeks of 2024, Tesla lost $210 billion from its market valuation, following a series of disappointing financial results and a lack of certainty expressed by Musk during the company’s quarterly earnings call.