Published in Transportation

Musk removes diversity claims from Tesla announcements

by on31 January 2024

Drags company kicking and screaming into the 19th century

Carmaker Tesla has dropped a line about encouraging a diverse workforce from its annual filing.

The company, which is owned by South African rich bloke Elon [look at me] Musk,  deleted the following line in its 10-K filing:

"With a minority-majority 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."

Bloomberg was the first to spot the cut. Tesla's new filing no longer says anything  about promoting diversity in its hiring.

In 2022, the filing said the company wanted to "attract a pool of diverse and exceptional candidates." It went on: "We also believe that our ability to retain our workforce is dependent on our ability to foster an environment that is sustainably safe, respectful, fair and inclusive of everyone and promotes diversity, equity and inclusion inside and outside of our business."

The 2022 filing also mentioned reaching out to Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions to sponsor employee resource groups in many places, including Asian Pacific Islanders at Tesla, Black at Tesla, Intersectionality, Latinos at Tesla, LGBTQ at Tesla, Veterans at Tesla, and Women in Tesla.

It added: "We engage these networks as key business resources and sources of actionable feedback. We are also working on diversity efforts in our supply chain to expand our outreach and support to small- and large-scale suppliers from underrepresented communities to emphasise this culture with our own employees."

While the new filing says nothing about hiring a diverse workforce, the carmaker said that its HR policies don't allow harassment or discrimination, including over race and sexual orientation.

Tesla's decision to say nothing about minority workers and employee resource groups comes only weeks after its boss slagged off DEI on social media.

Earlier this month, Elon Musk said on X that DEI was "just another word for racism" as he argued with billionaire Mark Cuban over such plans.

"DEI must DIE. The point was to end discrimination, not replace it with different discrimination," Musk wrote.

While Tesla has seemed to back DEI in the past, it's also been fighting claims of racism and sexism. Last year, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Tesla over claims of racism at the carmaker's Fremont factory.

In 2022, a California civil rights watchdog sued Tesla saying that it had got "hundreds of complaints from Black workers about racial discrimination and harassment at the Fremont factory.

At the time, Tesla called the California lawsuit an attack on "the last remaining car maker in California" and said it punished workers who harassed or discriminated.

In 2022, the carmaker also showed off Tesla's DEI team, along with a report from 2020 that said underrepresented groups made up about 60 per cent of the company's workforce. Since then Tesla has not put out any new numbers about its staff.

Last modified on 31 January 2024
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