Diversity Trends in the United States

    Published 1/9/2024

    Diversity & Inclusion trends in the United States and the role of the HLPA and other diversity and inclusion organizations.

    Simply put, Diversity means having a variety of different people, backgrounds, and / or ideas. When we discuss diversity in the United States, it typically refers to people of different races, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, ability, and age. Understanding diversity can help us appreciate our differences and improve our society.

    It is also important to understand equity, equality, and inclusion when talking about diversity.

    By definition Equity is when people receive fair treatment, free from bias or favoritism according to natural law or right. The reality is that for things to be equitable, some groups of people need more help than others.

    Then there is the issue of equality, which is not the same as equity. Equality in a community is when all people receive the same opportunities.

    Finally, Inclusion is the action of including people from different groups, giving them opportunities, and respecting and valuing their experiences and input.

    For those who have typically been excluded, the HLPA and other Diversity & Inclusion organizations play a role in trying to achieve equality within society. It is important to note research has shown that a diverse workplace is more creative and innovative.

    To be clear Equity, Equality, and Inclusion are not forms of Socialism, quotas, or mandates, as many who are trying to stop or reject these programs claim. In a nutshell, Socialism gives people free access to basic life necessities like food, housing, healthcare, and employment. Whereas, Diversity & Inclusion programs are set up to provide "Equal Opportunities" regardless of races, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, ability, and age.

    Studies show that when individuals on public assisted programs are given Equity and Opportunities, people are able to provide for themselves and come off these social programs altogether.

    Now to the issue of Diversity & Inclusion trends we are currently seeing and experiencing in the United States. It's no secret in our divided country that there are different approaches as to how organizations are handling Diversity & Inclusion issues. Furthermore, if true Equity, Equality, and Inclusion already existed there would not be the need for these programs or discussions about them.

    Here is what we are seeing, experiencing, and finding from publicly published reports, surveys, and studies:

    • Of about 24,000 businesses/organizations with over 1,000 employees in the United States, only about 2% (about 500) have Diversity & Inclusion programs with active engagements with associations run and/owned by minorities and underserved ethnic, religion, sexual orientation, gender, ability, and age groups.
    • Of this same group of employers 76% have no diversity or inclusion goals & statements published on any internal documents or website.
    • Since we already know that only about 2% have active Diversity, Equity & Inclusion programs, one can only assume that the majority of the 24% that have a public statement are only 'Going Through the Motions' of DE&I as a way to mitigate legal, compliance or reputational risks.

    History will eventually judge everything, including how Diversity, Equity & Inclusion issues are handled here in the United States. Let's not forget all the other DE&I movements that have already taken place in this country.

    • Women did not have the right to vote until 1920
    • Asian Americans did not have access to citizenship & voting rights until 1952
    • Black Americans were not given full civil, citizenship, & voting rights until 1965
    • Americans with Disabilities were not protected from discrimination until 1990

    DE&I movements still in progress and taking place today.

    • The LGBTQ+ community is still trying to get the same full civil rights afforded to other non-LGBTQ+ Americans
    • The Hispanic/Latino community is still trying to get the same legal path to citizenship that has been awarded to non-Hispanic/Latino immigrants

    Understanding that even though the United States is still a relatively young country that is still evolving, we have enough history to look back at previous DE&I movements and the impacts they have had on society. Who can argue that giving Black Americans civil rights or giving Women the right to vote has hurt society. Or that by giving the Hispanic/Latino community, or the LBGTQ+ community the same rights as other Americans will somehow hurt the country. In fact, there is evidence that contributions from these groups have led to new innovations, cutting-edge technologies, new businesses and companies, and overall growth and development.

    Nonpartisan studies have also shown that putting undocumented immigrants on a pathway to citizenship would increase U.S. GDP by up to $1.7 trillion over the next decade, raise wages for ALL Americans, create hundreds of thousands of new jobs for ALL Americans, advancing the country's economy.

    Surveys show that most individuals and organizations support DE&I issues but fail to act or stand on the sidelines to avoid conflict or possibly alienating those against DE&I. Knowing that it will always be impossible to fully satisfy everyone, we admire people and organizations with the courage to stand for what's right and who stand for humanity.

    Organizations who invest in DE&I programs statistically show:

      1. Increased Productivity
      2. A More Positive Organizational Culture
      3. More Innovation
      4. Better Employee Retention Rates
      5. The Ability To Better Serve Their Customers

    As history has shown, meaningful changes take both time and effort. Some have started, tried, and invested in DE&I efforts for a short period, only to devest their support before meaningful changes have been allowed to take place within their organization. Those who have stuck with their DE&I message, support, efforts, and core values, and who have expressed real empathy for all individuals affected by marginalization are the one's who have made real change.

    Full disclaimer, we as the HLPA (Hispanic/Latino Professionals Association) unapologetically support the struggles of the Hispanic/Latino community and current Hispanic/Latino Civil Rights and Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion movements. However, we also support all other marginalized groups and stand united against Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Ableism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and all forms of discrimination and hatred in any form. As all human beings are inherently equal and should be treated with compassion and respect.

    Whether you agree or disagree with our findings we would love your comments or feedback. Contact us or submit them here.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this article and a special thanks to everyone who supports DE&I.

    Rick Holguin, CEO, HLPA