Diversity Is the Lifeblood for All Companies, but Is Diversity Enough? 

“It’s hard to imagine an economy driven by Latino and Latina growth when leadership at the board level and in the C-suite is far less than 5% Latino and Latina. That gap – between the face of leadership and the face of the economy to come – is a vast strategic issue for corporations”. This is from Luis Ubiñas, the chairman of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation and board member of several organizations, quoted in an article in Latino Leaders Magazine by Luana Ferreira (Link)

The article mentions these important stats: Latinos represent 17.3% of the workforce in the United States, and the number will rise to 30% by 2060, according to research released by McKinsey & Company. However, the presence of Latinos in the leading positions is still scarce. They represent 4% of board seats, and only 20 Latino CEOs are among the Fortune 500 companies.

According to Ubiñas, “having more Latinos in the business isn’t a cultural imperative, it is a business imperative.” He highlights that corporations need to understand that it’s in their best interest to have more representation of Latinos on their boards and in their leadership positions. How will companies address the large percentage of the economy that Latinos will drive if they are absent in decision-making processes?”

And this gets into what we teach in our courses and Workshops via Zoom: simply put, diversity is not enough. It’s the starting point. We must consider where in the organization is that diversity? Is your organization diverse at the lower or middle levels, but not at the level of leadership? If so, your organization is missing out on some of the benefits of diversity, which can only begin to be activated if your organization is inclusive. True inclusion means not only inviting diverse people to the table, but listening, considering and implementing the perspectives and ideas they bring.

And then, inclusion is the next starting point because your organization may have barriers to inclusiveness built into its systems of evaluating and hiring new talent, advancement and promotion, etc. etc. This is where equity comes in. Evaluating the systems, rules and norms for ways that “the way we’ve always done it” don’t foster inclusion.

To put all this in context, we always frame our conversations with the goal of DEI work – to create a culture of belonging. Imagine a workplace, school or organization where people feel like they belong – this can’t be announced with an email or implemented with a policy, or a training. It’s something that people feel… To create such a culture takes lot of work. It takes time and continued attention and vigilance. We can help. For more information on how we at SunShower Learning teach about Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, please book 20 minutes with Joel here

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