April Fool’s: Why DEI is No Joking Matter

  1. Changing Demographics. For the first time more than 50% of children under age 5 are people of color. Women are 50.8% of the U.S. population and account for 49% of the college-educated workforce. In 2011 people who identify as LGBT totaled approximately 9 million adults or 3.5% of the U.S. population. In 2015, millennials, born between 1981 and 2000, surpassed Generation X, born between 1966 and 1980, to become the largest share of the U.S. workforce.
  2. Buying Power. In 2015, the buying power of Hispanics was $1.3 trillion, up 167% since 2000. In 2017, buying power of Blacks reached $1.3 trillion, an amount larger than the GDP of Australia and Spain. The total buying power of the adult LGBT population in the U.S. is expected to reach $1 trillion in 2018 while women control $4.3 trillion of the $5.9 trillion in U.S. consumer spending that keeps companies afloat. The female persuasion also influences 70–80% of all household spending and in 2018, millennials had the most spending power of any generation at some $200 billion.
  3. Talent and Skill Shortages. With some 10,000 baby boomers hitting retirement age every day, most organizations recognize their succession plan is ineffective because of the vast number of baby boomers all going into retirement within a few years of each other, with less younger folks to pick up the slack. While the primary labor-force age population will be flooded with 26 million racial minorities between 2010 and 2030, a net loss of 15 million Whites is anticipated.
  4. Employee Expectations. Currently, only 23% of employers believe their staffers are fully aligned with the company’s purpose and a mere 13% of employees are actively engaged at work, according to a Gallup poll. Businesses used to be places where workers conformed to business norms; today, businesses have to adapt more to the expectations of employees by responding to the various elements of workforce diversification. To do this, they need to redefine what commitment to work looks like, be much more flexible, and show that they understand and value the workforce’s changing demographics.
  5. Globalization and Technology. In 2013, developing countries contributed 50% of the world’s GDP. Globalization will continue to broaden Americans’ understanding and acceptance of people from different cultures and nations. Technology is changing where and how we work and how customers access us. It brings about increased flexibility and removal from the traditional workplace, allowing employees to work digitally. Corporate leadership must develop cultural competencies in order to communicate and negotiate cross-culturally.



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