Today’s workplace is becoming significantly more diverse. It is predicted by 2020, the number of African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asians in the U.S. labor force will increase by 42 million while at the same time the number of Caucasians will only increase by 10 million. This demographic change in the U.S. labor force will create interesting challenges for employers especially as to how your company defines and addresses diversity in the workplace.
Oftentimes, employers confuse the concepts of affirmative action and diversity. These concepts are not same. Diversity is a business management concept under which an employer promotes an inclusive workplace by recognizing that employees bring to the workplace unique perspectives that provide a competitive advantage in an increasingly global economy. The U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that the benefits of diversity “are not theoretical but real, as major American businesses have made clear that the skills needed in today’s increasingly global marketplace can only be developed through exposure to widely diverse people, cultures, ideas and viewpoints.”
However, in trying to achieve diversity, there are many traps for the unwary. The EEOC will continue to focus its enforcement resources more closely on how employers’ policies and practices affect the hiring and advancement of individuals within protected demographic groups. Given the EEOC’s enforcement initiatives, employers must take a closer look at its hiring and advancement policies and practices to make sure that they are achieving their diversity objectives and have not created unintended barriers to individuals based upon any protected characteristic.
The Illinois Chamber of Commerce together with O’Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong S.C. will present this important webinar regarding workplace diversity and what employers need to understand about diversity to achieve competitive success.
- About the Changing Demographics of the U.S. Labor Force
- About the Difference between Affirmative Action and Diversity
- A New Understanding for Diversity
- About the EEOC’s E-RACE Initiative
- What is Cultural Competence
- Best Practices for Achieving Workplace Diversity