First published on LinkedIn.
April is Celebrate Diversity Month. I want to take this time to revisit what diversity means in the U.S. Firstly, the nation is diversifying even faster than predicted. Between 2010 and 2019, the U.S. grew by 19.5 million, with race-ethnic minorities accounting for ALL of the nation's growth. Our workforce needs to reflect this exponentially growing change because by 2045, we will very likely see a shift in the minority/majority dynamic.
Not to mention the Gen-Z cohort, which has yet to fully enter the workforce, and is historically the most culturally, socially and ethnically diverse generation in U.S. history! For this age group, diversity isn't a concept but a fact!! If you're in recruiting, you're probably already experiencing the shift in the types of questions this group is asking you about your JDEIB plans and strategy. If you don't have strong JDEIB messaging on your public facing website and social media pages...now would be a good time to do so!
There's also another consideration...the "Global Majority," which is the fact that the BIPOC population represents over 80% of the world's population. Ideally, if BIPOC were to come together as one collective, they could influence change, social justice and institutional racism around the world by showing up as allies for each other. There is power in numbers! #weareallinthistogether
And diversity isn't always visible either; it's also about diversity of thought. It's recognizing the uniqueness of each individual and respecting their walk of life. Remember your disability community! Too often this group is forgotten during the policy-making process.
How can you ensure that your internal culture promotes diversity? Here are some key points to consider within your organization:
How does your organization define and celebrate diversity, if at all? Does your leadership representation reflect the growing changes in U.S. or global demographics?
Does your leadership work within a framework of accountability and consequences?
Is there an accessible/low-risk process for employee feedback? What is the HR process for reporting incidents?
My goal is to take full advantage of this month to celebrate the vibrant cultures that exist all around us each day. Ten years ago, I wouldn't have imagined our efforts in JDEIB would have come this far, but I know there is still much work to do! Never a day off!
One final nugget I will leave you with is to remember that this work should focus on the IMPACT, not the intention. Oftentimes, we develop a successful process and then leave it at that. This month, my challenge for you is simple this: How can you push yourself as an ally every day and use your own power, privilege and influence of change to support others?
Until next month...be well and stay safe & healthy!