by Novid Parsi
Originally published: January 14, 2017
Yesterday’s workforce won’t lead you into tomorrow
It won't be long before U.S. minorities are not in the minority anymore. Due to projected growth among Asian, Hispanic and multiracial groups, traditionally underrepresented populations will hit majority status by 2044, according to the Census Bureau.
Smart companies reflect that reality in the collective makeup of their employees. Their leaders understand that yesterday's workforce can't lead them into tomorrow. "We see diversity and inclusion as a business imperative," says Wanda Hope, chief diversity officer at Johnson & Johnson in New York City.
That sentiment is shared by leaders at AT&T, where 42 percent of employees are people of color. "It makes good business sense to have an employee base that looks like our customer base," says Cynthia Marshall, senior vice president of human resources and chief diversity officer at the Dallas-based company. "To truly serve the populations we want to serve, we need diverse groups of employees, suppliers and vendors." AT&T attracts a diverse pipeline of applicants by partnering with universities to help prepare minority students for work; it also supports underrepresented employees through mentorships and employee resource groups.