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Updated: December 25, 2023 Economic Forecast 2024

Diversity, equity, & inclusion 2024 economic forecast: Time to recommit

PHOTO | EDD COTE Katherine Aguilar closed the storefront for her Kommon Sense business this year. Funding for businesses run by people of color was harder to come by in 2023, as investors shifted their priorities elsewhere.

While diversity, equity, and inclusion continue to be buzzwords across industries, what the tangible commitment to those ideals looks like has wavered in certain places, while a number of companies have doubled-down.

Worcester will double-down its commitment

The City of Worcester deepened its commitment to DEI, increasing the funding for its Executive Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion by 67% year-over-year and engaging in a national search for someone to lead the office. The hiring, not yet complete, is almost two years after sequential resignations in the previous iteration of the role, a signal to the City the old approach was not sustainable.

VC dollars will be scarce for founders of color

Businesses run by people of color have seen external funding opportunities dry up in the years since the 2020 racial reckoning brought about by the police murder of George Floyd. Venture capital dollars have slowly shifted away from funding multicultural businesses and aren’t showing signs of rerouting, despite the need remaining and growing, making it a challenge for entrepreneurs of color in Central Massachusetts to thrive.

AI will play a bigger role in diagnostic medicine, with an eye on bias

In diagnostic healthcare, the artificial intelligence boom has the potential to change how things have been done for decades. Researchers are being attentive to issues of bias that can emerge with new technologies when datasets and doctors are not from diverse backgrounds.

Read 2023's top diversity, equity, and inclusion news.

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