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Diversity Analysis: The Impact of Hispanics in the Workplace

By shatam Jan 17, 2012 2692 Words
Diversity Analysis: The impact of Hispanics in the Workplace October 27, 2011

Abstract

Everyone knows that the United States is known has the melting pot which consists of all different nationalities and cultures. According to the Census Bureau, among these different ethnicities the 2010 United States Hispanic population count rose 43%, going up to 50.5 million from 35.3 million in 2000; Hispanics now consist of 16% of the nation’s total population of 308.7 million (Reddy, 2011). In an article by William H. Frey, there are 25 metropolitan areas where Hispanics account for at least 25% of the population this includes Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Miami, and Houston. Diversity Analysis: The impact of Hispanics in the Workplace

INTRODUCTION

Diversity is not prevalent in the organization that I work for; we are a African American owned and operated company with only eight (8) employees. The building I work in houses myself and another lady and we are situated in a low income, underserved African American community in DeLand, Florida. However over the years since I have been located at this location, I have noticed a rise in the number of Hispanic individuals that visit the center. Out of the 5,000 people that we see a year, less than 5% are of Hispanic decent, because of this I will be looking into future endeavors of how we can increase this number and reach the 30,923 Hispanic residents located throughout the county of Volusia. With this increase the company will be able to get a number of grants that are specifically geared towards the Hispanic population, but we first have to show that the Hispanic population utilizes our services, so it would be beneficial for us to have some events that will bring out this crowd. We can focus on National Latino Aids Awareness Day which is always on October 15th; we can have a class to teach people Spanish, promote Hispanic heritage month, and a host of other programs. The main problem we will have to solve is having either an employee or a volunteer that can spend about 4 or 5 hours a day helping the people who only speak Spanish, not only will the word get out that we have someone here that can understand them, but the overall numbers will also increase which will make us look better to the city where our funding comes from. Even if we use an individual with Hispanic decent within our organization, I think it would also be beneficial for the employees within the company to learn Spanish. Just learning the basics can help out a lot when networking and trying to collaborate with other businesses in the area or within the county. I think that the CEO should try to bring in a Hispanic professional to sit on the board of directors; they will be able to give ideas on how to attract and keep them using our facility. There are not a lot of organizations in the small area that we service that look to the Hispanic population, if we can tap into this market there will be nothing but positive feedback. In the County of Volusia there are a number of associations that we can collaborate with to focus on the Hispanic community, such as the Volusia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Volusia County Hispanic Association, and Hispanic Health Initiatives, Inc.

LITERATURE REVIEW

In an article by Mitra Toossi, it states that with higher population growth and increasing participation rates, the share of minorities in the workforce is projected to expand substantially; with the share of white non-Hispanics anticipated to decrease from 73 percent in 2000 to 53 percent in 2050, Hispanics are expected to more than double their share, from 11 percent in 2000 to 24 percent of the labor force in 2050, blacks also are expected to increase their share, from 12 percent in 2000 to 14 percent in 2050, and Asians are projected to increase their share from 5 percent to 11 percent between 2000 and 2050 (Toossi, 2002). With the growth of the Hispanic population growing at a fast rate it is noticed that Spanish has become the second language of the United States and this realization has brought a number of businesses to come to the conclusion of restructuring how we communicate. The cable companies put together a Spanish package that gives the subscriber a certain number of channels that only speak the Spanish language, such as the UNIVISION/TELEFUTURA channel which has a weekly audience of 550,000 within nine counties in the state of Florida (Balona, 2007). When we call companies and listen to the automated system they ask us if we would like to hear it in English or in Spanish, all the government forms that are produced now come available in an English version and a Spanish version, some cities started having an Hispanic health fair, such as the one in DeLand, Florida that launched its 1st annual health fair on Saturday June 30, 2007, hoping to motivate the Hispanics who live within Volusia County to make positive health changes (Balona, 2007). Part of the growth in diversity has to do with education; it is much easier for minorities to attend college today than it was 10 or 20 years ago. There are more scholarships available that are geared towards a specific ethnicity also organizations that already value diversity may have scholarships or grants available that can bring in more ethnic individuals. For example a local assisted living facility offered scholarships to men who were interested in getting into the nursing field. This can be a great way to recruit and have the Hispanic culture present within the company. Once they are recruited the company will need and want to keep them which this can be accomplished by the following efforts, as sited on the Adecco website: • Grassroots – Local community outreach programs help establish trust and generate word of mouth. • Train to attract and retain – Provide and market education and training programs and incentives. • Provide mentorship programs – This can help assimilate diverse employees into an organization. • Hablo Española – Have Hispanic mentors within the organization that understands the culture, speak the language and can provide guidance. • Family first – Provide flexibility.

• Reward bilingual skills – Put a premium on hiring employees who speak Spanish. • Highlight and promote successes – The successes that the company has with its diversity programs need to be publicized both within the organization and outside of it.

ANALYSIS

Although we can see why there is a need to have a diverse organization, many of the people in upper management believe that it is only needed in the marketing department and/or customer service departments. However this is not the case, the company should have diversity throughout the organization from the bottom to the top on all levels. Gloria Castillo, a president of Chicago United states that "some people think that just the demographics will drive diversity in their organization. And to some degree at the entry levels, it will. But it won't at senior-level ranks. We see incredible under-representation of people of color at senior-level management (Kaplan, 2008)." The impact of diversity in the workplace is evident when we look at the numbers from different companies that have implemented diversity through a number of factors including changing the face of upper management. Take the following companies for example: • Vought Aircraft Company increased output from 70% to 101% after several minority replacements, a minority supervisor, and some team building (Gilbert, Stead & Ivancevich). • A Toyota Dealership in Miami integrated cultural awareness through respect, targeted advertising, bilingual salespeople, and special events to break down barriers. This increased sales over six years by 400% and captured more than 50% of the Hispanic market in Miami (Gilbert, Stead & Ivancevich). • Avon Corporation turned unprofitable inner-city markets into the most productive U.S. markets by giving Black and Hispanic managers authority over those markets (Gilbert, Stead & Ivancevich). • Inland Steel-moved people who brought different perspectives (women, Hispanics, Blacks) into key positions at Ryerson Coil Processing. Ryerson became profitable for the first time in its history. You can see that not only were these companies increasing their bottom line, but they are changing the way they do business just by making the company more diverse all around, it is simple to see that “foreign executives and employees bring in different sets of competency and skills, because of globalization and internationalization (Andrade, 2010).”

McDonalds started using a minority-shapes-majority strategy when they learned how minority tastes can influence mainstream preferences, from a marketing campaign conducted on the west coast, products were developed that were aimed at Hispanics called the "Fiesta Menu," which included guacamole and spicy beef tortas (Helm, 2010). The items sold well in Hispanic neighborhoods, but sales rose even more than projected in Laguna Beach, an area that was more than 90 percent white (Helm, 2010). The reason for this could be due to the fact that the mainstream customers are always looking for something different and new, which is what McDonalds was offering and although it sold well to the intended target keep in mind that this is the type of food that they normally eat and/or cook with, so the only thing new about it was that it was being offered by McDonalds. Many companies find this type of advertising to be a success for instance; I have seen a change in the commercial ads that Ford and Toyota show on television. Since McDonalds as continued to make a profit even during our country’s recession, many more will catch on and change the way they advertise as well.

SYNTHESIS

Diversity not only affects the business people and operations internally but also their customers, suppliers, and other external stakeholders (Andrade, 2010). The article by Gilbert, Stead & Ivancevich gives some examples as to the benefits of having a diverse workforce, which includes: • Cost – reducing turnover and absenteeism

• Resource Acquisition – attracting the best personnel as the labor pool shrinks and changes • Marketing – bringing insight and cultural sensitivity to the marketing effort • Creativity – increasing creativity and innovation • Problem Solving – bringing a wider range of perspectives and more thorough critical analysis • System Flexibility – reacting to environmental changes faster and at less cost There are a number of reasons as to why a company should become more diverse in the workplace especially if it was understood that African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics were to reach an annual spending power of $650 billon by the year 2000 (Gilbert, Stead & Ivancevich). With this kind of spending power it would be wise to assume that minorities would rather buy from an organization that values diversity. Over the years I have noticed a change in the way companies advertise, such as McDonalds where many of their ads only show African Americans. When looking at businesses interested in tapping into the global market, then there are a host of other benefits associated with diversity in the workplace, such as creativity, language, and attitudes. The creative process can be increased just by the diversity of the people in the group which can bring about a different solution that would have never been thought about. Language can be more than just communicating with other cultures in their native tongue, but also understanding the meaning behind the words for example in Spanish there are words that associated with men and words that are for women; understanding the meaning can give any business a huge advantage. When doing business globally any organization will need to understand where their home country fits in with other countries. All countries have customs, so it will be helpful to know and understand how important those customs are when related to business. In order to bring in more Hispanics into the workplace, the Adecco organization suggest that many organizations can: • Understand and value Hispanic culture

• Present solid opportunities for advancement
• Get involved in the Hispanic community
• Provide opportunities for training and advancement • Offer competitive salaries and benefits
• Position your organization as an established company that can offer a sense of stability and security (Adecco, 2007).

CONCLUSION
In conclusion, the United States has become a bilingual and bicultural society and according to Sharon Moshavi, a Globe correspondent, the city of Miami is in the lead, because there they have a dominant political Spanish speaking class, many of their businesses already conduct in Spanish, they have menus printed in Spanish, and popular radio and television stations that are broadcasted in Spanish, this is causing the non-Hispanic population to either flee or embrace the change and the language. There is nothing but opportunity to be had by obtaining a more diverse and more specifically Hispanic workforce. Not only will the organization be able to attract Hispanic consumers in America, but it could also open doors in acquiring a presence in Central and South America (Adecco, 2007). It may take a while for organizations to get diverse on the upper management level, but hiring Spanish speaking employees who can handle customer service matters will not only impress the Hispanic consumers, but they may be more inclined to bring their business to your organization instead (Oliveras, 2009).  What has to be realized is that this change will not stop nor will it be reverted back to how things were in the past, so in order to stay ahead of the competition or it would be beneficial to hire Hispanic employees.  Wendy Oliveras states that “If you do not have Spanish speakers working for you, you should either allocate room for a few now or have some current employees learn Spanish,” with that said, the following is a list of a few benefits you would gain if you take the bilingual route: • The Spanish community will not hesitate to do business with your company if you already have Spanish employees. • Hiring bilingual employees represents to the Spanish community that your business is able to service their needs without making them feel ignored. • Having bilingual employees adds value and a competitive advantage by making the customers feel appreciated and understood. Keep in mind that diversity in the workplace is not just about ethnicity, but it includes age, gender, race, religion, and disability. However when it comes to ethnicity the Hispanic population will need to be recognized since there growth rate is inevitable. It should not stop at the hiring of Hispanics it should increase to include all other ethnicities as well, especially when the organization needs to compete in the global market, they will have to not just value diversity, but show this diversity through their workforce.

References:

Adecco. (2007, June). The emerging hispanic workforce. Retrieved from http://www.adeccousa.com/Attachments/hispanic_wf_wp.p
Andrade, S. (2010, March 26). 6 advantages of workplace diversity. Retrieved from http://saharconsulting.wordpress.com/2010/03/26/6-advantages-of-workplace-diversity/ Balona, P. G. (2007) Network Launches Hispanic Health Fair. news- journalonline.com. Retrieved July 6, 2007 from http://www.newsjournalonline.com/NewsJournalOnline/News/WestVolusia/wvlWEST03062807.htm

Frey, W. H. (1999). The United States Population: Where the New Immigrants Are.usinfo.state.gov. Retrieved July 6, 2007 from http://usinfo.state.gov/journals/itsv/0699/ijse/frey.htm Gilbert, J. A., Stead, B. A., & Ivancevich, J. M. (n.d.). Diversity management: A new organizational paradigm. Retrieved from http://techsci.msun.edu/wilke/bus courses/bus 405/Spring 05 Pages/Employment Relationship/Discrimination and Affirmative Action/Diversity Management/Diversity Management.pdf Helm, B. (2010, July 8). Ethnic marketing: Mcdonald's is lovin' it. Retrieved from http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_29/b4187022876832.htm Kaplan, R. (2008). The future of workplace diversity. Hispanic Business, 30(10), 78-80. Retrieved from http://citationmachine.net/index2.php?reqstyleid=2&mode=form&reqsrcid=APAJournalArticle&more=yes&nameCnt=1 Oliveras, W. (2009, December 19). Diversity in 2010 - benefits of going bilingual. Retrieved from http://www.oliverascoinc.com/blog/view/11 Reddy, S. (2011, March 25). Latinos fuel growth in decade. Retrieved from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704604704576220603247344790.html Toossi, M. (2002, May). A century of change:. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2002/05/art2full.pdf

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