Today’s Americans value diversity and inclusivity in the workplace more than ever, according to a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center. Moreover, 75 percent of Americans claimed it was important for companies to promote racial and ethnic diversity in the workplace, but only 24 percent wanted race and ethnicity to be considered when it came to aspects involving hiring and promotion. On the other hand, 74 percent believed that only qualifications should be considered, despite the fact that it may result in less diversity. Because of these sentiments, there are still many barriers to entry, with people being left out of the picture because of gender, race, minority backgrounds and a lack of financial literacy. Andrew Anastasio writes how gender discrimination leads to workplace and wage inequality, stemming from societal attitudes. Because of this, efforts should be made towards building more inclusive workforces across all companies, giving students hope that they will find their place in the world.
Diversity and inclusion have been linked to more positive values and greater profitability for companies. Among the top leaders of diversity and inclusion practices in their corporations include Accenture and Gap as of 2018. In Accenture’s case, they hired 1,800 employees from different backgrounds, up from 1,000 in 2016. Furthermore, they aim to increase the number of women in their workforce to 40 percent by the end of 2020. They also hired 750 veterans and military spouses, aiming to hire a total of 5,000 by 2020. In Gap’s case, they have business resource groups as well as advisory boards who aim to provide lessons on cross-culturing learning, as well as valuable mentoring and relationship-building skills for employees. In addition to this, they have also launched a program called ASCEND, which targets the growth and development of minority leaders. Through this mentorship program, they aim to help these individuals learn the skills they need to back up their dreams and meet their aspirations regarding their career goals. While these companies have upwards of 100,000 employees, other small-scale companies can follow their footsteps by implementing similar practices and policies.
One way workforces are becoming more inclusive is through changing how they operate. The rise of remote working setups has not only increased the scope of people being employed but also led to more inclusive workplaces through the development of coworking spaces. Many say that coworking spaces are the future of the workforce, which is great news since these spark conversations and foster networking among people of all backgrounds. Due to this trend, Rewire examined how some spaces promote racial and ethnic diversity, with Brooklyn-based coworking spaces like Ethel’s Club being specifically geared towards women of color. In addition, Bridget Coulter, the founder of Blackbird, a Los Angeles-based organization, has found a similar niche and adds that “As a multicultural black woman… it’s essential that we focus on issues regarding women of color, things that we’re facing, and that our allies come in and work on this with us as we approach all of those issues: social justice, productivity, access to opportunities.” Giving women and minorities access to shared resources and advice in these safe spaces enables them to achieve greater heights of financial success. The good news is that the coworking industry is rapidly expanding across the country, with most cities having numerous spaces to accommodate all types of workers. Coworking space provider Industrious has eight locations in Chicago alone, as well as a large network across the country. These spaces offer both community memberships and private officers, which shows how modern coworking spaces are designed to cater to every type of worker and business. Not to mention the location they are situated in.
Ultimately, creating a more inclusive workforce isn’t just about hiring people from different backgrounds and meeting quotas. While racial diversity is important, what is also needed is the systematic change to enable the growth and success of these individuals. With the proper structures and frameworks to make them feel valued within the company while boosting their skills, they’ll be able to attain higher levels of financial success. Along with the right guidance and mentorship regarding aspects of financial literacy, they’ll be sure to achieve their dreams.