Values-Based Leadership: Converting Diversity into Inclusion
Human and civil rights are part of the fabric of American society, touching all in the Quad, the four generational groups in today’s workforce, in one way or another. Boomers grew up when segregation was still practiced in various parts of the country. They watched Martin Luther King Jr. peacefully demonstrate and then they added women’s rights to their activism. GenXers watched their mothers fight for equal pay, and throughout both GenXers’ adult years and Millennials’ midlife years, race riots, police brutality, and immigration discrimination have permeated the news. In the Millennial and Homeland generations, LGBT rights have come to the forefront of equality movements. Each generation has raised awareness around diversity and inclusion in society.
The tide of diversity is no longer an ideal — it’s a necessity. Each generation mentioned has participated in breaking down discriminatory boundaries. Diversity is set to become a seamless part of society rather than something we must direct. Inclusion will be the name of the game as immigrants continue to become a bigger part of the population. The blending of people of color will become less defined and more integrated. There will be those who may hold out on these issues, but the momentum of change continues toward the path to seamlessness.
The Center for American Progress has found the following:
- People of color make up 36 percent of the workforce.
- Women make up 47 percent of the workforce. Sixty-seven percent of them are non-Hispanic white, and 33 percent are women of color.
- Gay and transgender workers make up 6.28 percent of the workforce.
- Between 2020 and 2050, 83 percent of the workforce population will be made up of immigrants and their children.
- By 2050, census data projects that there will be no single majority race.
Here are a few tips to pave the way toward inclusion:
- Do accept and embrace the seamlessness of the workforce. This is an unstoppable global force.
- Do include diversity programs with the goal of being able to phase out “diversity” labels, most likely starting 2030 and into 2050.
- Do pay attention to the growing female demographic in the workplace. Women will be taking more and more leadership roles.
- Don’t permit racial, gender, and sexuality exclusions in the workplace. Raise awareness where needed.