Strategic planning for diversity
Companies are discovering the value in
corporate diversity. Historically, most companies instituted diversity
programs such as affirmative action to be in compliance with the law, but they
have found that there are some good solid business reasons to do so. Our
focus is on helping companies incorporate diversity programs into their
strategic plans. These plans should address each of the three major areas
that impact their business: their customers, employees, and suppliers.
Ethnic marketing became a marketing buzzword
in the 1990's. It stemmed
out of corporate America's realization that the ethnic communities
were already large and
continued to increase at a greater rate than the majority population. So why not
focus some marketing effort on these consumer groups? Good philosophy.
Unfortunately, many companies believe that ethnic marketing means advertising in some of
the foreign language trade press. In reality, ethnic marketing is much more than
that, and requires more basic infrastructure changes to the company's marketing and
customer service organizations in order to maximize its benefits. We can help you
develop and implement the kind of ethnic marketing program that strengthens companies and
yields both short and long-term returns.
Affirmative action programs emerged from the Civil Rights Act of 1968, and required all
large corporations to address potential problems with racial discrimination by attempting
to have their workforce reflect the ethnic makeup of the general population. While
companies fought against it initially, affirmative action has helped develop strong
workforces because it forced employers to create job descriptions and engage in true
competition for new hires and promotions instead of using the "old boys
network", friends, or relatives. Companies have found that a diverse workforce
can take advantage of the experiences and skills people with culturally diverse
backgrounds can offer. In spite of the progress that has been made to create a
diverse workforce, companies still have difficulty with diversity at the senior levels of
management. We strive to help companies improve talent at all levels, and develop
strategies to maximize the benefit of diversity in the workforce.
Minority and women business enterprise (MWBE) programs were originally created when
major corporations began looking for ways to find qualified MWBE suppliers on government
contracts. The federal government and many of the states had passed laws requiring
their major contractors to make efforts to subcontract parts of their contracts to small
business and MWBEs. What many corporations have found is that MWBEs are in many
cases more qualified and cost-effective than their normal suppliers, which has helped them
reduce expenses and improve the bottom line. At DSI, we are experts on MWBE programs
and know what makes them work and what doesn't. The key is for senior management to
believe that their MWBE program can improve their bottom line and to make a commitment of
resources and attention to break down the political and bureaucratic barriers that have
existed in the past.
The bottom line is that competitive market is changing. In this country, the
population growth of the ethnic minorities is skyrocketing. Internationally, we now
live in a global market, and any business that wants to do business overseas
the resources in its workforce and suppliers in order to compete. Every company
should have a strategic plan for diversity, and we can help you get there.
For additional information about Diversity
programs, see our sister site at: www.EthnicMajority.com.