Microsoft released its diversity numbers yesterday, and they resemble those of other tech giants. Not pretty. I’ll have more to share on the tech industry’s diversity problem in a later post. In the meantime, pictures always speak louder than words.
Workforce Gender – 71% male:
Leadership – 83% male:
Workforce Diversity – Latinos 5%
(Graphic credit: Fortune Magazine)
Jose Villa at the Engage Hispanics blog outlines eight trends impacting the Latino market in 2015 and beyond. An interesting list that shouldn’t be too surprising given the demographic, economic, and political changes we’ve seen over the last decade in the Latino population. Two of the eight trends focus on education, highlighting the increased representation of U.S. Latinos in “non-traditional” regions.
According to the Pew Research Center, there are 17 states where Latino children comprise at least 20% of the public school kindergarten population. Today’s kindergartners offer a glimpse of tomorrow’s demographics – indicating a much more Hispanic population in states like Kansas, Nebraska, and Idaho. In states like California and Texas, Hispanics represent the majority of kindergartners.
Pew Hispanic Research reports that the U.S. born Latinos now account for the majority of Latino workers in the United States. The trend is expected to continue for a number of reasons:
It is likely that the share of the Latino workforce that is U.S. born will continue to increase. The U.S. born currently account for most of the growth in the Latino population, and it is uncertain that Latino migrants will return to the U.S. workforce in larger numbers. Some leading economists are of the view that the U.S. has entered a new era of slower economic growth. If so, jobs growth in the future may not be strong enough to reinvigorate immigration from Latin America. The future direction of U.S. immigration policy is also unknown. Finally, demographers have noted that sharp declines in birth rates in Mexico and other Latin American countries may ease the pressure to emigrate to the U.S. in the longer run.
While the talent (knowledge) economy continues to heat up, there’s an inherent risk associated with the wage and workforce gap that’s being created – so says Roger Martin in his article “The Rise and Likely Fall of the Talent Economy:”
Little of the value created by this well-compensated class is trickling down to the general population. “Real wages for the 62% of the U.S. workforce classified as production and nonsupervisory workers have declined since the mid-1970s.” Nor is the situation better for investors. “Across the economy, the return on invested capital, which had been stable for the prior 10 years at about 5%, peaked in 1979 and has been on a steady decline ever since. It is currently below 2% and still dropping, as the minders of that capital, whether corporate executives or investment managers, extract ever more for their services.”
One of my favorites on the subject of diversity is Tanya Odom. She recently shared thoughts on President Obama’s last news conference for 2014. In case you missed it, President Obama took questions only from women reporters; he didn’t call on any male correspondents – by the way, expressions from male reporters in the video link above is priceless.
Tanya refers to President Obama’s goal here as a “teachable moment.” One that highlights what most women and people of color must endure everyday in the workforce, education, and particularly, in the media.
The media exerts a powerful influence on our attitudes. How is it that our world has changed so much in the last decades, and yet, women still lag behind men in prestigious professional roles? Invisibility is harmful. Moreover, people who might have intersecting identities (e.g., black women, Latino gay person) may experience “intersectional invisibility,” which is just as challenging.
Great piece from the NYT on how more Latino agricultural workers are moving from working in the fields to managing agricultural businesses. Latino owned businesses grew 21% from 2007-2012. Sergio SIlva, a high school dropout, is profiled in the video below. With his 30+ years of industry management, Sergio partnered with someone who knew the product – and a new business was born. The new business serves as inspiration for those working in the fields for them today.
No where is the lack of diversity in organizations more evident than in the news media. Back in May (sorry I wasn’t around for this one), MSNBC stereotyped Latinos as tequila drinking fools. About the same time, NYT ‘s Upshot made some silly assumptions about Latino identity and race. And yet again today, Upshot selects an ill advised photo of Colombian dancers as way to portray Latinos as fiesta party people in discussing Republicans and the Latino vote.
In each of these cases, a Latino on staff might have said, “You know what guys……this might not work….”
Unfortunately, the lack of diversity in newsrooms is still apparent – and unfortunate.
It’s been a change-filled year.
Relocating to another state is never an easy task, but I’m happy to report things are finally settling down. I love my new home state of New York. Our new town has welcomed us with open arms. With most of the big “to dos” almost complete, I’ve finally had a chance to check in and make sure my login is working – it is! : )
I’ll be seeing you soon.