May 21st is World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development and is a globally celebrated day established within the United Nations in 2001. What’s sad is that 19 years later, we still need a reminder to celebrate diversity. This day was created to symbolize unity amongst cultures on a global scale and inspire ways for humanity to further sustainable and equitable development of all people. In a world where we are constantly deterring cultural appropriation, it’s vital that we begin celebrating our underrepresented communities without causing further pains. The current pandemic has positioned us with an opportunity to embrace cultural diversity through recruitment and redefine how we approach talent conversations.
It’s true that diversity recruitment isn’t new and neither is celebrating underrepresented communities, but somehow the United States still suffers from deep inequitable disparities. The concept of a “diverse workforce” is too often touted as a business imperative — increased revenue, higher innovation, etc. But, based on a day that discusses Dialogue and Development, shouldn’t building inclusive workplaces be a quest towards cultural morality? By colliding the foundations of WDCD, we can realign recruitment strategies to put our most affected communities first without compromising business results.
Women, who have notoriously poor representation in the workforce, are being laid off at alarming rates and those that haven’t been, as Sheryl Sandberg has put it, are working the ‘Double-double shift’ – being expected to maintain full-time jobs, while bearing 60% of childcare duties simultaneously.
Likewise, Black and Hispanic communities are dealing with their own set of hardships: unemployment, pay cuts, and contracting this virus with shivering impacts. In fact, 49% of Hispanic families have reported they themselves or someone in their household has suffered a pay cut or job loss. And, while Black Communities represent 13.4% of the American population, their death rate has reached close to 60% of all Coronavirus related deaths. Listen, we’re all being inundated with stifling news like this but as HR and Talent Acquisition professionals we have the power to relieve some of the pains inflicting marginalized groups as the world recovers.
And, it all starts with how we recruit.
Make Marginalized Groups A Priority
Prioritizing recruitment strategies that uplift women and minorities first will play a major part in shaping the future workforce. By changing language in job descriptions and investigating career ambitions, or marketing opportunities towards women and minorities, we can change the way we move forward. As the economy regains its foothold and companies resume hiring practices, therein lies an opportunity to make an impact that redefines our hiring standards in the “New Normal.” Not only will this be crucial for protecting marginalized groups, but it also opens the door to unifying the workforce so that everyone can succeed and excel equitably.
Embrace Remote Teams
We don’t have to say it, because many of us are sticking this out at home – it’s safe to say that remote is forcing a digital transformation over HR and Talent strategies. That transformation will start by embracing distributed workforces. From saving on overhead to the tune of $11,000 per employee by allowing teams the flexibility to WFH some of the time, to substantially lower salaries regionally and dipping our toes in more diverse communities, remote work is what we can expect in the future. Right now, the average salary for a Software Engineer in San Francisco is $160,000+. However, in a city like Birmingham where 71.3% of the city is African American, the average salary for a Software Engineer is $92,000. Companies that broaden their reach can make a big impact on representation and beef up on revenue. Let’s not forget to mention that remote work allows people with disabilities, stay-at-home parents, and senior citizens a seamless opportunity to join your team. That sounds pretty adequate when discussing World Diversity.
Let’s make this clear, marginalized groups are bearing the brunt of harm in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, which really isn’t shocking. When it comes to big changes and being faced with hardships, women and marginalized folks are consistently at the front of the line.
And, although it’s easy to wrap this back into the context of business, hopefully, it’s evident how adopting minimal changes to recruitment strategies makes an impact on the entire world. If we do this right as we guide ourselves safely into the future workforce, that cultural morality will come naturally to recruitment. This is it, folks. We have a chance to bridge the gap between work and representation. We can finally build a better workforce that works for every human being by simply making cultural unity and respect a priority as we build new teams.
Happy World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. Stay safe and stay well!
For more information on how Joonko can help you transition your strategy, visit us online at www.joonko.co.