Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen conference was held in Laguna Nigel, CA, and one of the most prominent topics was centered around diversity. According to Ellen McGirt, when she started her session by asking “Who’s more optimistic about race issues, social justice and inclusion than they were a month ago? Not a single hand. Less optimistic? Most hands went up.”
The fear of the unknown is plaguing many diversity experts today and unfortunately may linger for a while. After her session, McGirt described a conversation with one human resource head who told her “I’m getting lots of calls now – ‘Why are we doing this? Why is this necessary?’….We’re back to selling the business case for diversity – which is real for us, particularly at the customer-facing level.”
While it is great to see corporations coming out in support of diversity throughout the nation, the reality is that some were never sold on the concept from the beginning. A Trump administration has reinforced some beliefs that the diversity narrative is not essential for business. The reality is that, demographics are making diversity an American necessity. If this nation does not prepare tomorrow’s workforce effectively by providing opportunities today, the American economy will suffer. You can’t support America without supporting diversity.