I heard an interesting story this morning on NPR regarding economists that attempt to predict economic performance (job creation, unemployment, economic growth) for a given month. As a whole, these economists are referred to as “the consensus” and their impact on markets can be significant. Organizations base much of their activities on what “the consensus” predicts. What’s ironic is that “the consensus” is wrong more often than not.
It’s easy to fall into “the consensus” way of thinking. A consensus exists when everyone agrees. For example, we can be united in our communications or actions related to a problem or solution. However, is it possible to have diversity in unity?
Given that “the consensus” is often wrong, we run the risk of pluralistic conformity, shared bias, and ignorance: in short, unreliable consensus. This is an important point when Latinos consider the diverse issues impacting our community.
Let’s keep in mind that consensus is not always what gives credibility to the solution.
Glenn Llopis makes a great case for multicultural talent matching multicultural marketing. Ironically, as Glenn notes, many organizations still “don’t’ get it.”
To authentically capture the growing multicultural market segments in America, corporations must be more strategic in how they integrate multicultural talent to support business growth. For example, just because Hispanic purchasing power is estimated to reach $1.2 trillion by 2012 does not mean that a company will be successful in its efforts to market to this emerging consumer group. As a result, corporations must get smarter about developing its multicultural talent to lead their multicultural business activities.
It’s simple: organizations need to develop a workforce that grasps the nuances of the consumers it’s targeting. Diversity in workforce is no longer the “right” thing to do – it makes economic sense.
You’re probably not familiar with the name of the town above. I wasn’t. It’s a town located Northeast of Madison. I didn’t know this town existed until I read a special report by a local newspaper on the city’s increasing Latino population. While the trend is a familiar one around the country, it’s the first article, or series of articles, that takes an in-depth look at how this growing population is impacting a small community.
…the number of applicants who identify themselves as multiracial has mushroomed, adding another layer of anxiety, soul- (and family-tree-) searching and even gamesmanship to the process. The new options have forced colleges to confront thorny questions, including how to account for various racial mixes in seeking diversity on campus…
While focused on colleges, the article is also relevant to businesses, non-profits, or anyone interested in knowing what the future workforce will resemble. Organizations will gain from some awareness of how the needs of multiracial individuals might be distinct from those who self-identify as a “single race.” This type of awareness can help leaders to change organizational cultures and to help them in serving an increasing population of people.
Orlando Rodriguez revisits a topic that I’m very familiar with – both personally and professionally – the impact of family ties on Latino success. When I worked at the University of Texas at El Paso Career Center back in the mid-1990s, one of the biggest challenges we faced (and feedback we often received from employers) was the reluctance of our students to leave El Paso for job or even an internship. Since over 70+ percent of our students were Latinos, family proximity was a significant factor in student career decisions. I still remember one student whose mother spent the Summer with her during an internship in Dallas.
Over the years, I’ve noted somewhat of a reversal in this trend, particularly in 2nd and 3rd generation Latinos. While the strong family ties exist, many students are more willing to expand their experiences by leaving home taking positions well outside the reach of their family.
Many years ago, I faced the same decision. Having grown up in Southern California, leaving to attend college out of state was a significant event in my life. While I craved the independence of college life, I was well aware of the potential consequences of not having the always present family support. The first few months were horrible. However, over the next months and then years, I grew exponentially as a person and a professional. Were family ties a hinderance? In my case, I would say not.
You can check out the original report by PEW that Orlando references here.
Dominicans are mostly mulattoes and we should celebrate and embrace all sides of our ancestry, regardless of our skin color or what we look like. The Dominican Embassy states that, “the ethnic composition of the Dominican population is 73 percent multiracial, 16 percent white, and 11 percent black. The multiracial population is primarily a mixture of European and African.
Elena Gray at the The Observer provides a realistic look of Latinos on campus. Unless they’re attending a college with significant Latino population, most Latinos feel like they’re alone on an island. The experience here can be applied to most organizations as well.
“Though Notre Dame is one of the most national schools, I feel that the majority of the students on campus still wind up thinking exactly the same. I am not just talking about diversity in the sense of race and ethnicity either, but also diversity in thought and beliefs,” she said. “As a Latina, I at times feel stifled in my classes and can’t help but think there is no way that my voice or what I have to say will change what they think. The problem is, no one else sees it. It is a shared struggle with not only my community, but also other minority communities.”
Galina Espinoza, editor of Latina Magazine, shares a story of dumb assumptions. I had many of the same type of experiences in my college days.
In 1990, I had just started my senior year at an Ivy League college when my political science professor asked me to come see her about the first paper I had turned in. While she complimented me on how much work I had put into it, she went on to explain that writing a college paper must be especially difficult for someone for whom English was not her first language.
Black in America/Black in Latin America on PBS tonight delves into the history of African-Americans in Latin America. As the preview notes, most of our perspective regarding the African American experience centers on the United States and Europe. We fail to recognize that there is a long history of African Americans south of the border and in the Caribbean. The series is hosted by Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr.