Tag Archives: workforce

Hispanic Federal Workforce Update

Hispanic representation in the U.S. federal workforce has “stalled.”

Was it ever advancing? I’ve written about this for a few years.

The Federal Times reports:

 Federal hiring of Latinos has only increased incrementally since Clinton’s order 17 years ago, said Brent Wilkes, chief executive officer of the League of United Latin American Citizens. Currently about 8.5 percent of the federal workforce is Hispanic.

Can You Meet Client Diversity Expectations?

Interesting article via Accounting Today highlighting Facebook’s law firm requirement that 33% of staff must be comprised of women and ethnic minorities.

As this article suggests, most CPA firms could not meet this requirement.

AICPA reports in the most recent “Trends” report that only three percent of new hires were Black/African-American and eight percent were Hispanic/Latino. So, it would be easy to conclude that many CPA firms could not comply with Facebook’s new requirement for ethnic diversity.

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.

Proactive Kudos

Kudos to the Financial Services Pipeline (FSP) Initiative supported by Chicago-based financial institutions. The goal is to address the lack of diversity in Chicago’s financial services industry, particularly Latinos and African Americans. The initiative includes 16 members representing more than 30,000 professionals in Chicago’s financial service industry. FSP released findings from a report which will be utilized to develop an action plan to address the lack of diversity in its industry. While focused on one city and industry, the report’s findings can provide insights about the experiences of Latinos in other industries and regions.

In regards to career outlook, the report suggests that “Latinos indicate that they are dedicated to their careers, and are more likely than their white counterparts to indicate that career is their first priority.” However, many Latinos feel that the pace of their progression has been too slow. The report cites a “choke point” where career progression is halted, particularly into senior positions.

Hence, many Latino Executives and Senior and Managers “recognize that relationships with senior members of the industry are important for their career growth. They are more likely than whites to cite sponsorship programs as being helpful to their career and are just as likely as their white counterparts to have a mentor or sponsor within the company

One comment from an interviewee in the study noted:

There is only one thing — hire more people of different races and ethnicities. Too much hiring in the financial services industry is based on internal networks, so excludes people that aren’t traditionally part of those financial industry networks.

This is a telling comment that is common among most industries. The “who you know not what you know” barrier. These are only a few highlights that caught my eye – there are a number of good takeaways in the details.

Latinos & the Boomer Tax Facts

I often highlight how Latino communities are impacting the U.S. workforce today. But what about 20 years from now? This article via Fast Company Magazine highlights how increased birth rates, particularly in communities of color, will ultimately impact workforce trends. This trend is particularly true in Hispanic communities where the 18 and under population will continue to grow. An important point to make here – this trend is based on US born Latinos – not immigrants.  According to William Frey, who was interviewed for the article, baby boomers will be dependent and Latinos and other younger communities of color to support government supported programs. It’s a fact that mostly white boomers will need to accept:

There may be a little backlash at first because of the vast cultural differences between mostly white boomers and those born after them, “but over the long term people will adjust to this,” Frey concludes. “They are going to understand that we have job openings and we need to fill them with skilled people. Savvy business owners and corporate leaders will understand that these are the demographics of the future, and we need to make the best of it.”

Graphic via Fast Company

Oh, Those Annoying False Narratives

One of the more annoying arguments in the immigration debate is that undocumented immigrants coming to this country take jobs away and have a negative effect on the economy.  These recurring arguments make terrific sound bites and usually appeal to the emotional and uninformed voter, especially during hard economic times.  And yet these are the false viewpoints that still guide today’s immigration policy debate.

Over the years there have been numerous studies which debunk these false narratives. Here’s another by the Urban Institute.

In short, this study and others demonstrate that immigrants help to fill gaps in our labor market, immigrants complement rather than replace existing workers, and increase, not lower, wages and productivity.

The Urban Institute’s study again helps to quash the notion that immigrants are “stealing” American jobs.  In fact, as the study points out, many low skilled immigrants and native workers aren’t competing for the same jobs.  If this isn’t enough evidence, a recent study by PEW suggests that immigrants are “much more likely than U.S. foreign workers to be self-employed.” From a Latino perspective, immigrants were nearly twice as likely as U.S. born Latinos to be self-employed.  So in other words, the PEW study suggests that immigrants are in fact job creators (aka entrepreneurs) not job takers!

So don’t fall into believing this overused false narrative.

And while it seems that immigration reform won’t happen anytime soon, when it does, let’s hope it’s developed based on facts – not fiction.

No Equity in Sight

If you’ve not had a chance to read through Fast Company’s Strong Female Leader series, I’d encourage you to do so. Gender equity topics regarding leadership, pay, and entrepreneurship paint a picture of how much more work is still needed in the corporate world.

A recent addition examines the gender pay gap by industry. Consider the following statement and then review the graphic below.

There is no industry where women earn equal to or than men overall, even when controlling for all measured compensable factors.

Graphic via PayScale.com

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.