Porter Braswell believes that the word diversity has been overused and has lost its meaning. As the CEO and cofounder of diversity recruiting platform Jopwell as well as the author of the book “Let Them See You: The Guide for Leveraging Your Diversity At Work” Braswell believes more can be done in corporate settings in regards to inclusiveness.
In his book, Braswell highlights the difficulties employees experience in defining diversity and the tendency of companies to avoid “uncomfortable” conversations about specific diversity issues such as gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity. He also describes strategies for dealing with obstacles like unwanted attention for professionals of color and implicit bias.
Jopwell has already worked with big organizations such as the NBA, Amazon and Facebook.
Braswell acts as a strategic partner to ensure that their partners implement their diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives. He argues that having a diverse workforce is not about charity or quotas, but about building a more profitable company. It is projected that non-white racial groups will comprise more than half of the American population by 2032. A 2018, a McKinsey study also found that companies with diverse executive teams are 33 percent more likely to outperform their counterparts.
Currently, African Americans only make up 12 percent of the total U.S. workforce and together with Hispanics, make up 29 percent of the total workforce in the STEM sector. Braswell offers advice for business leaders planning to launch D&I initiatives. For people of color executives, he suggests taking advantage of the opportunity to open the door and let other people of color in. For executives who are not persons of color, he recommends starting an honest dialogue with people of color within the organization and implementing solutions to identify problems.
Overall, Braswell remains optimistic about the future and the ever-changing American demographics.