The diversity that exists in the world today cannot and should not be ignored. Unfortunately, minority groups usually miss out on opportunities because of systems put in place designed to overlook them. In the labor market, talent is everywhere, no matter the demographic and so organizations should not pass on a chance to better their workforce.
Here are some statistics which show why companies must not ignore minority groups:
These statistics show that the demographics are changing, and gradually, separations in opportunity will not only be impractical but detrimental to businesses everywhere. At the moment, however, many minority populations, including African Americans and Latinx, are consistently overlooked in certain industries. The tech front experiences this lack of diversity firsthand, and so there’s a need to bridge that gap.
At re:work, we pride ourselves in linking talented members of the Black and Latinx population with reputable companies and vice versa. We pay particular attention to women from these communities who are more likely to receive less pay for their work and remain an untapped resource in the workplace. Our work, since 2016 has benefited Chicago, and is centered around acknowledging and amplifying the untapped talent that are fighting to overcome systematic obstacles.
While we do all we can, it takes a collective effort to make a real change, and for those of differing backgrounds to experience equality, everybody needs to be involved. Are you ready to be a part of that change? Reach out to re:work today! Now let’s take a look at five ways in which we can all join hands to change the narrative.
Over and over again, communities brimming with talent (marginalized communities) are overlooked because of misinformation that’s spread about them. Knowledge is the first step, and until you get the proper information about these communities, you won’t be empowered to take action.
There are many sources where you can find out the history, the achievements, and the hardships of these communities to give you some perspective. You can educate yourself by engaging in the following activities:
While you’re at it, don’t keep the information you find to yourself but instead spread it around, starting with the people closest to you.
Another issue that continues to plague communities of color is the silence and inaction on the part of neighboring communities. Speaking up about an inherent bias in a system or calling out people who discriminate against others can go a long way if you’re consistent. Start with your immediate surroundings and then, gradually, broaden your reach. Here’s how you can make sure that your voice is heard and makes an impact:
In most cases, the voice of the systemically overlooked will be ignored, but there is power in numbers, so your input matters.
There are many organizations like re:work training that recognize the value in communities of color and work daily to make that value apparent to the powers that be. These companies seek to support, empower and bridge the gap that exists between them and the opportunities that they deserve. Here are some statistics on this gap in Chicago to give some perspective:
Clearly, oppression affects marginalized groups and the odds are stacked against Black and Latinx communities. You can contribute time, energy or funds to support the agencies dedicated to balancing these odds. Actively seeking ways to show support and adapting to the changing needs of these communities is not charity, but rather a practical step toward improving your own life and community for the better.
If you want to make a measurable impact, you’ll have to start with the person in the mirror. If you’re educating yourself the right way, you’ll notice that many of the views you hold are either uninformed or downright prejudiced. It might make you uncomfortable at first, but that’s where true change begins. So here is what you should do:
If you don’t belong to a group of people who are systemically overlooked or treated with bias because of their race, ethnicity, or background, accept the fact that you have a form of privilege.. After you have come to terms with this within yourself, the next thing will be to leverage that privilege you have to even out the playing field. To be an ally is to be an empathetic and reasonable human being, and it is counterproductive to leave the problem for only those directly involved to solve. Here are a few things to consider:
The world has evolved past openly segregated workplaces, schools, and neighborhoods, but the roots of the issue are still very much alive and producing bitter fruit. We still have an extensive journey ahead and now, more than ever, everyone has a responsibility to help get there faster.
Do you run a business that is interested in tapping into the endless talent that untapped communities, particularly the Black and Latinx, have to offer? This is your chance.
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