Earlier this year, Amazon selected 20 cities as the finalists for its second headquarter location.  While many are projecting Atlanta, GA or Austin, TX as the front-runners of the project, the initial bid encompassing 240 cities played an important role in the evolution of a city’s diversity strategy.

The growing Millennial population is the most diverse American population in the history of the nation.  As such, if a city is unable to recruit a diverse group of people and cultures, there is a high probability that the workforce will suffer over the next decade.  According to Matthew Quint, director of Columbia Business School’s Center on Global Brand Leadership, Millennials “want to be able to work and live in a place where there are these interesting and diverse culture.”  If a city is not able to provide this, it will have a decreased workplace potential.

In its selection criteria, Amazon made it clear that a diverse city was necessary for its selection and the cities that made the final cut can all claim a diverse and vibrant culture in some aspect.  Despite the rhetoric of today’s political environment, a city proud of its diversity is a good thing and is needed to attract the next generation of corporate locations.

Some of the cities that promoted their diversity heavily in their Amazon bid included Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Dallas / Fort Worth, and Detroit to name a few.

And diversity isn’t simply about race either.  According to Tina Wells, founder and CEO of Haddonfield, New Jersey-based Buzz Marketing Group, the promotion of a diverse city is “less about marketing a city’s blackness and more about showing a city is diverse and open to everyone.”  This openness and inclusiveness is necessary when looking to hire from a growing Millennial talent pool.

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