The US Supreme Court will soon release its decision on two distinct but related cases – Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. University of North Carolina – regarding the use of race and ethnicity in admissions at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina (UNC).
Although the ruling applies specifically to admissions at selective universities, companies and organizations should take steps now to review, sharpen and reinforce their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategies to be prepared for any decision.
Over 80 major American companies have visibly come out in support of race-conscious admissions through amicus briefs, but very few companies have issued public statements on the matter specifically. However, companies will find themselves in the spotlight again once a decision is announced, and questions will likely be raised from both external and internal stakeholders who want to know where the company stands.
Regardless of the scope of the ruling, employees may look to their company or organization’s leadership for a response on the sensitive topics and themes of these cases, which include individual merit, systemic biases and historical disadvantage, and the value of DEI programs at large.