Diversity & Inclusion: The Big Six Formula for Success by D.A. Abrams - Read Online
Diversity & Inclusion
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Summary

The case that I make for diversity and inclusion is not just sociological or democratic: it is a business strategy. That is the focus of this book. I developed this framework for corporations and associations. It will show you how to increase your revenues directly, through understanding the pathways that I provide, and by implementing the Big Six Action Plan that I outline, so that you can take a comprehensive and holistic business approach to diversity & inclusion in your own company. I explain how to ensure a diverse workforce at every level, how to reach a multi-cultural marketplace, and how to include diversity in your image as a way of ensuring the greatest opportunities for growth and expansion. Most savvy executives today are attuned already to the diversity of the contemporary U.S. marketplace, but with this book, you will also be equipped with all of the most current data and facts regarding American ethnic and racial diversity as it pertains to your product or service.
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ISBN: 9781483513669
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Diversity & Inclusion - D.A. Abrams

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INTRODUCTION

Recently, a Latino media executive was driving down Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California. He noticed an enormous new billboard for a Fortune 500 company that advertised children’s clothing. The artwork featured two adorable white babies dressed in white outfits lolling on a white blanket, with white letters above them shaped like white clouds. It was a beautiful billboard. But it struck him as odd, given the demographics of the town over which it towered.

The executive immediately put in a call to Dr. David Hayes-Bautista, a renowned expert on Los Angeles’ population as the Director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at UCLA’s School of Medicine. Dr. Hayes-Bautista confirmed what the executive suspected: the percentage of babies born in L.A. in 2012—the billboard’s target customer—was 17% white, 62% Latino, and 21% Asian or African-African.

Yes: 83% of L.A.’s babies were not white. So why was this big, pretty ad on Sunset Boulevard so…white!!? Did only white people drive down this strip of roadway, perhaps? The executive set out to do a personal test the next day, amusing himself by returning to the billboard location by taking side streets that had only Spanish surnames – La Jolla, San Vicente, Santa Monica – which is to say, most any street in L.A. He sat with pen and paper in hand for 20 minutes, and marked the demographics of each car that passed beneath the billboard.

Out of the 1,000 cars that he polled, 750 of the drivers were not white. This inspired the executive to dig down a bit deeper into the billboard’s Fortune 500 firm with such a diversity-oblivious ad. A Google search for the corporate name and images also brought up a field of white babies, each beautiful, each wearing the company’s adorable clothes, and almost each one of the models being white. He did find a few Asian and African American babies mixed in, but, actually, not a single cute little Latino baby in the bunch.

Como es posible? he wondered. (Or, translated for the language impaired: How is this possible?)

It is easy to find cute Latino babies in Los Angeles. And the language couldn’t be a barrier to putting them in this ad. So why did a big company decide to target only 17% of the population with its key images and marketing spend? How could they expect to remain an important brand to America’s children, either now or when those kids became parents??

Hadn’t this company noticed the very recent success of the Walt Disney Company, the biggest brand in entertainment, when it recently aired its first-ever movie with a Latina princess, Sofia the First, and watched it become the highest rated cable television program for children age 2-5 in the history of cable television?!

After his experiment and analysis, this executive went on to dream about putting up a new, competing billboard on Sunset Strip. One that was populated with babies of all races and ethnicities, along with the slogan, Love ALL Your Customers At First Sight.¹

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Here’s my question to you: Why isn’t everyone selling that message today?

I have had the good fortune to be Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer for a leading national non-profit sports association that is intensely committed to loving our customers. We have undertaken the critical field research, soul-searching, and strategic planning process necessary to develop a comprehensive diversity & inclusion philosophy for our institution. We have read or met with leading thinkers and practitioners in this field. Out of that I have developed a framework that will permit you to use diversity and inclusion as a solid business strategy that builds not just your company, but its profit and influence, going forward.

If you are an executive and know how to operate in a diverse landscape, you will have a leg up on your competition for any C-Suite position. This practical Big Six strategy will guide you to success in developing a D&I action plan, whether you work in corporate America, at an non-governmental organization (NGO), or lead an association or organization.

∼∼∼∼∼∼∼

I believe that most savvy executives today are attuned already to the diversity of the contemporary U.S. marketplace, but with this book I want to equip you, first, with all of the most current data and facts regarding American ethnic and racial diversity as it pertains to your product or service. In the event that you need to make a case, or want to apply your institutional metrics to emerging national statistics, the first chapter will outline the "New Normal": where we are, and what we can expect from the marketing implications of 21st century demographics.

The case that I make for diversity and inclusion is not just sociological or democratic: it is a business strategy. That is the focus of this book. That is how I developed the framework that I recommend for corporations and associations. I believe that you will find a way to increase your revenues directly through understanding the pathways that I provide here, and by implementing the Big Six Action Plan that I outline, so that you can take a comprehensive and holistic business approach to diversity & inclusion in your own company. I will explain how you ensure a diverse workforce at every level, how you reach a multicultural marketplace, and how you include diversity in your image as a way of ensuring the greatest opportunities for growth and expansion.

Ultimately, diversity and inclusion should become part of your competitive advantage. You should make it a cornerstone to your strategy for achieving all of your organizational or corporate goals and objectives. You will find few strategies that bolster your bottom line in a more significant or enduring way.

Let me show you how.

CHAPTER 1: THE NEW NORMAL

It used to be that, while the United States as a country recognized that it was comprised of a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities, corporate America considered white male Anglo-Saxons as the majority culture. When you’re the majority culture, you come to define yourself, your views and priorities as normal. But, then, where does that leave everyone else? Well…you get the point.

2016 is right around the corner. The majority culture will no longer look like it used to look. What happens to normal then?

The demographic reality of the U.S. is this: by 2016, 70% percent of the U.S. work force will be women and/or Black and Latino.² And how about those customers? Your marketplace is being defined by the fact that, for the first time in U.S. history, less than half of all newborns in America are non-Hispanic Caucasian. The percentage of Americans who are white (non-Hispanic) is on a demographic trend downwards, particularly among our younger citizens. By 2050, according to the U.S. Census data, people of color will constitute the majority of our population.³ This demographic shift is already showing its impact on our politics and economy.

So, as you can imagine, anyone who fails to fully embrace the "New Normal" of these changing demographics will also fail to capitalize on the substantial growth in buying power that these diverse markets represent. Not only are these diverse minority groups increasing as a percentage of the U.S. population, but so too is the buying power that they wield.

Currently, African-Americans are the largest minority among adults over 50, according to William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution. But for the under-50 crowd—including those babies I mentioned earlier, who are making up our first majority minority generation—Latinos comprise the largest demographic group