News Column

Workforce Diversity: Building a Stronger Future

September 18, 2013

Juan Baron

Juan Baron
Juan Baron is a wealth management adviser and the managing director for Northwestern Mutual in West Los Angeles.

Many companies have made a commitment to develop a diverse workforce. Building a workforce that is reflective of the shifting demographics of the U.S. population can provide growth and opportunities for businesses and benefit job seekers.

The number of Hispanics in the workforce is expected to increase from nearly 16.7 million in 2000 to 47.3 million by 2050, which will total more than 24 percent of the U.S. labor force, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Growth in labor is also expected for African-Americans, who are on track to increase their presence from 16.3 million in 2000 to 26.8 million by 2050. Asian-Americans are projected to more than double their reach from 6.2 million to 16.1 million, or 8.3 percent of the total workforce, between 2000 and 2050.

Do you know which companies got top marks for hiring Hispanics? Check out our 2013 Best Companies for Diversity overview.

By understanding the evolving landscape of society, businesses and job seekers can build a corporate environment that encourages employees to strengthen their talents and add value to their places of business.

The following are just a few of the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace:

-- Drive business development

By reflecting the demographics of the community, companies who embrace diversity among their employees become more desirable to the global marketplace. The talents and experiences of a diverse network enable companies to connect with various audiences and expand the business into new markets.

-- Develop qualified workforce

As the population continues to diversify and grow, competition among job seekers will result in more highly qualified potential employees. When companies recruit from a larger talent base, they choose the best candidates available, which enhances the capabilities of the company.

-- Encourage creativity and innovation

Merging the unique perspectives of a diverse employer base creates an environment that encourages individuals to share unique thinking and approaches to problem-solving. By making room at the table for people with various backgrounds and encouraging group work, companies can develop a larger pool of more creative ideas to work from.

-- Build a stronger future

Much of the increased diversification of the modern workplace will happen organically, as the population continues to grow racially and ethnically. With a strategic approach to engaging diverse markets and a plan to maximize those recruits, businesses and career seekers can benefit from employing workers with varied cultural and language skills.

Fostering environments where conversations about diversity and inclusion are encouraged can help businesses achieve an accurate reflection of the community in which it operates.

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Juan Baron is a wealth management adviser and the managing director for Northwestern Mutual in West Los Angeles. Baron serves on the board of managers for the Westside Family YMCA and the board of directors for the Inland Empire Latino Lawyers Association Inc., a nonprofit provider of free legal services for the poor and underprivileged residents of the Inland Empire. Baron also is a certified financial planner, a chartered life underwriter and a chartered financial consultant.


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