The cultural makeup of the United States is changing rapidly.
Consider these statistics from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC):
1. 13.66 percent of employees are black (down from 14 percent in 2000)
2. 13.26 percent are Hispanic (up from 10.3 percent in 2000)
3. 5.52 percent are Asian (up from 4.3 percent in 2000)
4. 48.23 are women (up from 47.1 percent in 2000)
By 2050, 29 percent of the U.S. population will be Hispanic, 9 percent will be Asian and 19 percent of Americans will be foreign born, according to projections by the Pew Research Center.
Recruiting and hiring workers with diverse backgrounds (race, age, gender, ability, etc.) has long-term benefits for businesses, especially considering the changing face of Americans. Companies whose employees reflect their communities and customers show a commitment to serving their clients and foster better relationships.
Here are 7 more reasons you should have a minority-rich workforce:
1. New perspectives
A diverse workforce means diverse perspectives and fresh points of view.
“The mere presence of social diversity makes people with independent points of view more willing to voice those points of view, and others more willing to listen,” said Katherine Phillips, associate professor of management and organizations at Northwestern University, in an article for Forbes. A study that Phillips conducted with colleagues at Brigham Young University and and Stanford found that diverse groups worked harder and were more effective problem-solvers than homogenous groups.
2. Improve relationships
A company that employs people with a variety of backgrounds and worldviews will have a better time reaching out to customers and clients in today’s global economy. Minorities in the workforce can help overcome cultural and language barriers, as well as help the company at large tackle problems in areas that it might not otherwise be familiar with.
3. Foster innovation
According to a study by Forbes, “Multiple voices lead to new ideas, new services, and new products, and encourage out-of-the box thinking.” More senior executives are recognizing that in order to fuel growth and innovation, it is critical to have a diverse set of experiences, perspectives and backgrounds.
4. Improve recruitment and retention
When employees and recruits realize you value them as people first and foremost, they’re more likely to stay with your company. And inclusiveness and open-mindedness helps retain top talent and make your company a better place to work.
5. Increase profits
A report by the federal Glass Ceiling Commission found that “Organizations which excel at leveraging diversity (including the hiring and advancement of women and nonwhite men into senior management jobs, and providing a climate conducive to contributions from people of diverse backgrounds) will experience better financial performance in the long run than organizations which are not effective in managing diversity,” according to an article in VillageLife.org.
6. Snag more contracts
Companies that do not hire minorities are not looked at favorably when it comes to government contracts. The Obama administration recently threatened to take away $5 million in government contracts from Leprino Foods for “discriminating against qualified African-American, Asian and Hispanic applicants,” according to the Department of Labor.. Whether you do contract work for local, state or the federal government, diversity pays off in the long run.
7. It’s illegal to discriminate
At the end of the day, refusing to hire minorities can cost you in lawsuits and public image. “Federal law makes It illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit,” according to the EEOC.
Learn more about your diverse workforce at MinorityJobs.net.