"A couple of other software providers I looked at didn’t have the same functionality...I always felt like I got an answer and somebody to walk me through it and to get back to me quickly, which I really appreciated."
- Senior Director, Cal Alumni Association UC Berkeley
There are more than eight billion people on earth today and no two of them are the same. That’s what makes each and every human being unique and special. These natural differences are out of our control and include characteristics like our gender identity, race and ethnicity, sexual identity, disability or socio-economic status and more. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the United States will be a minority-majority nation by 2043, leaving employers no choice but to create solutions to better support this more diverse workforce.
Diversity in the workplace is more than just hiring employees of different backgrounds, it’s celebrating their uniqueness and fostering an environment that values and embraces everyone’s differences, perspectives and experiences.
Growing Diversity in the Workplace
Diversity in the workforce is increasing, as it is generally around the world. According to an analysis from the Washington Post, 2019 was the first year in history that most new hires in the workforce were people of color. Additional statistics support these findings such as a study done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that shows the Latinx workforce population steadily growing over the last 30 years from 10.4 percent in 1998 to a projected 21 percent by 2028.
A study conducted by The PEW Research Center highlighted the fact that Gen-Z is the most diverse generation in U.S. history and will be the majority of the workforce by 2030. 52 percent of Gen Z identifies as white, 25 percent identify as Hispanic, 14 percent as black, six percent as Asian and another five percent who identify as multiple races.
A Gallup poll from 2021 also concluded that only 47 percent of managers feel prepared to talk to their employees about race. This has to change as Gen Z moves into the workforce. And as workplace culture continues to rapidly evolve alongside society, employers are faced with the necessary task of implementing programs, strategies and policies that attract and foster that diversity-- or get left behind.
With that being said, companies aren’t only choosing to kickstart their DEI initiatives because it’s the right thing to do or because they feel like they must, but because it’s actually better for business. Companies with a more diverse set of employees, ethnically, mentally and physically, are better off than their exclusive counterparts as their employees are able to bring their differing life experiences, perspectives and skills to the table which help with problem solving and business solutions.
In fact, a study by McKinsey revealed that companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to outperform their respective national industry medians’ financial returns. Diverse companies also earn 2.5 times higher cash flow per employee and are more productive by over 35 percent according to a study done by the (D&I) Global Market.
The same study from McKinsey and Company revealed that companies with above average diversity experience 45 percent revenue growth compared to companies with below average levels of diversity at just 26 percent.
A Gallup poll from 2021 concluded that only 47 percent of managers feel prepared to talk to their employees about race.
The Right Thing to Do
Besides the fact that making your workplace a more diverse space results in positive financial gains and better work, it also keeps current employees feeling satisfied and appreciated, something many employees who feel “different than the norm” couldn’t say comfortably just a few years ago in most workplaces. According to the same study conducted by The Washington Post, 76 percent of job seekers said diversity was important when considering job offers.
As the world continues to evolve, companies are being held to higher standards than ever before. It is important for company executives to understand the importance of not only recruiting a diverse talent pool, but supporting and hearing the concerns of each employee. Companies that fall behind on diversity initiatives now will not only lose employees, but lose business to those that welcome our natural differences.
Interestingly, a report by Crist Kolder Associates found that in the five months following the murder of George Floyd, the event that sparked corporate interest in DEI initiatives in the first place, companies in the Russell 3000 hired 130 black C-level employees compared to only 38 in the prior five months. The massive increase proves that a more diverse and equitable hiring process is possible, workplaces just need to act on it.
Kokomo24/7® understands that every workplace has its own set of unique needs. We can provide your workplace with a robust, yet easy-to-use technology platform that simplifies the complicated work of DEI implementation.
Diversity in the workplace is growing both in importance, and in numbers. Get the health and safety platform that your company needs to navigate the complex and changing circumstances surrounding implementing custom diversity strategies in your workplace.
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