- Paradigm CEO Joelle Emerson said in a tweet Thursday that a recent executive order from the Trump administration banning certain types of diversity training at federal contractors already caused her to lose a a client.
- Emerson said the type of training her startup provides does not violate the executive order, but that this company ended it just to “play it safe.”
- She said that other companies are holding off on diversity training altogether because of confusion over the order.
- Paradigm is especially known for providing training to Silicon Valley startups and big tech firms, which have historically struggled to achieve representation of minorities in their workforces and C-suites.
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The CEO of a diversity training consulting firm said Thursday that her company has already lost a client due to President Trump’s recent executive order.
—Joelle Emerson (@joelle_emerson) October 1, 2020
“We just lost our first client as a result of the executive order on diversity training,” tweeted Paradigm CEO Joelle Emerson. “I’m sure it won’t be our last. Seems it’s having exactly its intended impact. I wish I could say I feel proud to be on the right side of history, but I just feel scared.”
Trump issued an executive order on September 22 that expanded a previous ban on certain types of racial sensitivity training at federal agencies. This September order also banned such training at contractors that want to do business with the government. A leaked memo on the ban, published by Business Insider’s Dave Levinthal, warned that government contractors who violate the ban will face “potential sanctions for noncompliance.”
Some in the corporate world voiced concerns that the move was a step backward for diversity in the workplace, including Aubrey Blanche of Australian startup Culture Amp, who described the orders as