A man and a woman stand together looking at a piece of paper. They are in a busy meeting room with other people in the background. The man is black and the woman is white. They both wear professional clothing.

What is the status of DEI policy in 2023? We used our wealth of open legislative data to assess trends and discern what to expect from the next legislative sessions.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) refers to efforts made by organizations to create environments that value and respect differences among individuals. Over past last twenty years, there has been rapid growth in DEI investment. This is especially true within the past decade. Increased focus on DEI has primarily occurred in the private sector. However, public entities are increasingly considering DEI principles as well.

The growth of DEI policies has attracted the attention of lawmakers. Democrats have led the movement towards incorporating DEI principles into the public sector. At the same time, Conservatives have begun to push for the restriction of the use of DEI in certain settings.

Using Plural’s unmatched open data, we analyzed DEI legislation across the United States in 2023. We sought to better understand where and how this legislative trend is taking shape.

Trends in DEI Policy in 2023

In 2023, legislators considered 146 bills that proposed changes to DEI policy. These bills spanned 36 states and U.S. Congress. Eighty of such bills sought to expand the use of DEI policies. On the other hand, 66 bills proposed to restrict or eliminate the use of DEI in certain settings.

A chart showing the status of DEI policy in 2023. 80 bills were introduced across 21 jurisdictions that sought to expand the use of DEI. Of those, 10, or 12.5%, became law in 7 states. On the other side of the debate, 66 bills were introduced across 24 jurisdictions that sought to restrict DEI practices. Of those, 7, or 10.6%, became law in 5 jurisdictions.

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Plural will continue to track this developing policy trend. As new developments arise, we’ll report on the progress made by both sides.

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