Tag Archives: Hispanics

Who Has the Answers?

Do diversity initiatives work?

Some studies suggest that the effort to diversify the C-suite and boardroom has reached an impasse. Others suggest we’re moving along nicely.  But how long will it take?  Five years? Just another 10 years? Longer?  Two years ago on this blog, I wrote about a quick business article search I conducted on the topic of diversity. At the time, I had gone back  44 years to read what business journals were writing regarding the benefits of a diverse workforce.

About the same time I shared this post about the status of people of color and women on corporate boards.   Despite their increased representation in the workforce, the number of Latino CEO’s and board of directors has remained the same or decreased since I wrote these two posts.

So it really does beg the question – do diversity initiatives work? Perhaps a better question is why do they fail? I don’t know.

Over the last few years, I’ve seen the increased numbers of diversity and inclusion services and experts tout the important work they do. They seem to be doing great for themselves. Yet, the numbers remain the same. Why? Many of their clients have the worst diversity and inclusion numbers out there. Are they part of the problem?

Is it easier (and cheaper) for organizations to invest in window dressing initiatives rather invest the time and resources needed to diversify their leadership? Perhaps change their culture? I don’t have the answers.

One reason might be that many organizations are not as transparent as they should with their data. Another could be the perception that years of diversity talk is just talk – talk without the walk. Or could it be all the research that aims to diversify the workplace can’t even agree on whether mandatory or voluntary diversity strategies are best?

Who knows. I certainly don’t.

But I would also argue that no one else does.

The Tale of Two Reports

I spent a couple of hours today searching for current data on Latino educational attainment and outcomes, specifically in the area of post-secondary education. I was a bit frustrated. Reports were either incomplete or dated.

Finally, I was able to find two good reports, both published this year, which provided detailed analysis. One report was from Department of Education’s (DOE) National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) entitled Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups 2017. This is a comprehensive report outlining the progress and challenges faced by different racial and ethnic groups.   The second report was from the American Council on Education’s Center for Policy Research and Strategy (CPRS) entitled Pulling Back the Curtain: Enrollment and Outcomes at Minority Serving Institutions. This report was also a comprehensive examination of educational data but focused on minority serving institutions in the United States.

Frankly, I was left a bit disheartened after reviewing the NCES report. Latinos are indeed making strides. For example, Latinos doubled the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded between 2003-04 and 2013-2014. Yet, Latinos still lag well behind other racial and ethnic groups in regards to overall post-secondary attainment. Expecting the same results, I turned my attention to the CPRS report and was pleased, but puzzled, to read this:

The completion rate for exclusively full-time students at public two-year Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) was 40.3 percent using NSC data, compared to the federal graduation rate of 25.5 percent. The NSC total completion rate for public four-year HSIs was approximately 50 percent and 74.1 percent for exclusively full-time students, compared to a federal graduation rate of 42.7 percent.

Why the difference?

As compared to the NCES report, CPRS “aimed to paint a more complete” attainment and outcome picture by using data beyond that collected by the DOEcation. Another key difference between the reports is this:

As the NSC data show, the majority of students at HSIs do not attend college exclusively full time, which is significant since higher education policy is still largely rooted in the notion of a “traditional” student body that among other attributes attends college full time.

In other words, DOE education attainment reports factor in ALL educational institutions, post-secondary in this case. This is no fault of the DOE but does shed light on my initial gloomy reaction. These two reports also underscore the need to present information in a way that reveals a clearer picture of educational attainment by Latinos in the United States.

Latinos and Women Still Earn Less

Latinos, women, and other people of color still earn less than white men, even with similar education levels.

chart

Among workers age 25 and older with at least a bachelor’s degree, median weekly earnings in 2014 were $1,385 for men and $1,049 for women. Black or African American workers with at least a bachelor’s degree had median weekly earnings of $970 in 2014, compared with $1,219 for White workers with the same level of education. Asians with at least a bachelor’s degree had median weekly earnings of $1,328. The median for Hispanic or Latino workers with that level of education was $1,007 per week.

 

Contributing, Supporting, And NOT Weakening

A Partnership for a New American Economy report highlights the economic punch both native and foreign-born Latinos provide, particularly in states like California and Texas:

In some states, Hispanics now account for a large percentage of spending power and tax revenues overall. In both Texas and California, Hispanic households had more than $100 billion in after-tax income in 2013, accounting for more than one of every five dollars available to spend in each state that year. In Arizona, a state with a rapidly growing Hispanic population, their earnings after taxes accounted for almost one-sixth of the spending power in the state. In Florida, Hispanics contributed more than one out of every six dollars in tax revenue paid by residents of the state.

The data also shows how Latino tax revenues put more into Medicare and Social Security programs than they take out:

Hispanics, and foreign-born Hispanics in particular, play an important role sustaining America’s Medicare and Social Security programs. In 2013, Hispanic households contributed more than $98 billion to Social Security and almost $23 billion to the Medicare’s core trust fund. Foreign-born Hispanics in particular contributed more than $46 billion to Social Security, while paying in more than $10 billion to the Medicare program. Past studies have indicated that in Medicare in particular, immigrants draw down far less than they put in to the trust fund each year, making such tax contributions particularly valuable.

Rian Bosse tells companies to take notice:

With the growth, Latinos represent more purchasing power and are becoming the “backbone” of the economy in the United States while more and more enter the middle and upper classes, Cartagena said. One in six consumers in the country are already Hispanic and, since 2000, the percent of the Latino population making over $100,000 a year has doubled from 7 to 13 percent.

The full New American Economy report can be found here.

Latino Growth by the Numbers

Emily Badger shares some interesting demographic changes in the next 15 years and advice on what these numbers might mean:

Projected Latino Population Change 2010-2030. Graphic via WonkBlog.com

By 2030, the Hispanic share of the local population is likely to increase almost everywhere in the U.S…..metro Atlanta’s Hispanic population grows by about 800,000 over 20 years, in Dallas by 700,000, in Charlotte by about 400,000.

The future envisioned in all of these maps means that many communities will have to confront greater diversity in their neighborhoods, among their electorates, in their schools.

“It opens up a lot of really important questions about how we educate kids in the U.S.” Pendall says. Many of the areas with growing minority populations also have high poverty rates in their public schools. “If those states and cities aren’t able to come up with the political and fiscal will to educate kids well — whether because they’re poor, because they’re African American or Latino, both or either one — that to me is one of the most important implications of the whole picture that we’re portraying.”

Who is Right, When No One is Wrong?

Two different but sometimes intersecting viewpoints about diversity and strategy.

Jonathan Jackson argues that the lack of diversity in organizations is systemic and considers race, gender, and culture a vital factor:

People talk at me when it comes to diversity, not to me, and certainly not for me. People want to solve diversity like it’s a business problem. It’s not. Diversity (read:  the need for Black and Latino creativity, excellence, and ingenuity to be fundamentally embedded into the DNA of billion dollar companies and enterprises) has business implications, and there is a case for how it can improve outcomes, revenue, idea generation, and a host of other metrics. But at its core, the issue of diversity  is a structural one. Systemic inequity has a legacy that is long, varied, and intertwined with a multitude of other issues that ‘Murica is wrestling with. It’s an autopsy in its purest form, and everyone is in the viewing room, peering down through their own vantage point, looking to make sense of the broken bones and exposed organs.

BJ Gallagher counters that race and gender are important but shouldn’t be the only focus: Continue reading