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Calling Cuban 'a liar'

The debate between Musk and Cuban escalated on Jan. 8, following a post by X user TheRabbitHole84.

The post featured a screenshot of a headline that read, “United Airlines Says It Wants 50% Of Pilots Trained In Next Decade To Be Women Or People Of Color.” Accompanying this headline was a quote attributed to Cuban: “DEI does not mean you don’t hire on merit. Of course you hire based on merit.”

Musk responded critically, stating, “The airline industry can’t find enough qualified pilots even without insane DEI requirements!”

Cuban came to the defense of United Airlines, suggesting that the targets applied to the aviation academy and not the airline itself.

“This is a training school. Once they graduate, it’s a multi year process to have an OPPORTUNITY to pilot for United,” Cuban explained. “BTW, looks like multiple layers of merit based evaluations before they can fly for United…”

However, Musk remained dismissive of Cuban’s explanation, bluntly replying, “You are a liar.”

This tense exchange highlights the polarized opinions on DEI within the business community. On one side, there are those who, like Musk, view DEI initiatives as potentially counterproductive or even discriminatory, questioning their efficacy and alignment with merit-based principles.

On the other side, figures like Cuban argue that DEI is crucial for tapping into a diverse talent pool and can significantly benefit business operations and make a company more competitive.

In the Fall 2023 Fortune/Deloitte CEO Survey, the majority of leaders said that DEI is built into their strategic priorities (65%) and that their Board expects regular updates on DEI progress (58%). However, news reports point to roles in the area being cut.

This ongoing debate underscores the complexities and challenges in finding an approach to DEI that steers clear of tokenism and performative solidarity and aligns with both ethical values and business objectives.

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Jing Pan Investment Reporter

Jing is an investment reporter for MoneyWise. He is an avid advocate of investing for passive income. Despite the ups and downs he’s been through with the markets, Jing believes that you can generate a steadily increasing income stream by investing in high quality companies.

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