Diversity is supposed to be the US’s fundamental strength. The data show that the nation will continue to become progressively more diverse. However, different political and social groups translate contradicting views on the problem, as seen in the actions of Obama’s and Trump’s administrations.
As a fact, Obama clearly stated his interest in the issues of the black population. Gillespie, A. (2020), giving the analysis of the black issue related to Obama’s promises, points out the results of his kept promises. Accessing Obama’s performance, Gillespie, A. (2020) spots a growing number of loans to small businesses run by minorities, the increase in historically black colleges funding, decreased reported anti-black hate crimes, and continued growth of black life expectancy. Obamacare influenced diminishing the proportion of Americans who lacked health insurance. However, wealth inequality, unemployment, and black homeownership rates continued to be a problem.
Compared to Obama’s, the Trump administration preferably paid attention to the needs of the white middle and working classes. Gillespie, A. (2020) sees the following decline in policy supporting racial equity during the Trump administration ruling as a predictable result, comparing it to the actions of the Republican Party to attract voters who opposed the societal changes after the adoption of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. To assess the results of the Trump administration’s policy, researchers turn to statistics.
Unfortunately, the statistics show the continuing disparities among different races. USAFacts (2021) reports that the rate of unemployment (compare 9.9% to an overall 6.7%) and the rate of death from COVID-19 for black people is higher in comparison to those rates for white and Asian people of every age (pp. 24, 36). The rate of uninsured black Americans in 2019 is 9.6%, while that rate for the white population counts to 5.2% (USAFacts, 2021, p. 40).
The poverty rate of black people is the highest. However, one could spot a slight decrease from 2010 to 2013 with a dramatic drop during the following years (USAFacts, 2021, p. 47). There is a strong connection between population wealth and health services availability. The gap between various racial groups also exists in education. Only 25% of black Americans have a bachelor’s degree or higher (USAFacts, 2021, p. 55). Certainly, this evidence results in black underrepresentation in management positions.
However, there is some good news. USAFacts (2021) say that there is a slight decrease in the proportion of the sentenced state prison black population, from 58% to 55% (p. 71). Therefore, the changes in the life of Blacks/African Americans regarding inclusion, equity, justice, jobs, health, and the overall perceptions of them are slow to come. Closing the gap between different racial groups still requires tremendous efforts from both politics and society.
US society’s attitudes and behaviors towards Black/African Americans are shifting towards valuing the impact of diversity and realizing the key importance of inclusiveness. According to Horowitz (2019), about 66% of US adults (para. 2) are content with their community’s racial mixture. However, the changes in attitudes towards the black population could not be described as significant. As Newport (2020) writes, black Americans still state they confront bias and discrimination, and the gap between the position of blacks in US society’s perception of the white and black population still exists. Americans continue to observe the world through separate lenses: when blacks describe their challenging experiences, whites often fail to perceive such injustice.
As a manager aiming to promote inclusion and reduce prejudiced behaviors, I would rely on the experience of famous companies fighting the issue. I would organize courses to train underrepresented workers, create campaigns promoting a culture of black Americans, and strive to search for talents among minorities. I also would investigate existing pay gaps as an issue that racial minorities often face in their workplace.
The data on demography shows a significant increase in the population’s diversity. According to USAFacts (2021), during the period from 2018 to 2019 black population of The USA increased by 286,8 thousand people and comprised 12.5% of all US population (p. 10). That data raised the interest of different organizations investigating HR and workforce policy. According to Stahl (2021), one of the most recent societal changes is recognizing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. Since the protests of summer 2020, many companies have launched initiatives to prevent cultural bias and discrimination.
When millions of people went to the streets to protest the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and immeasurable other Black Americans, it helped turn people’s minds to the issue of police violence against Black Americans. The public recognition of the existing racial problem led to the foundation of various projects and funds. For instance, the “Citizen Verizon” project aiming at upskilling minority workers, Old Navy’s “We Are We” campaign, the introduction of a diversity quota system by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, etc. (Stahl, 2021). Such projects led by businesses are becoming an integral part of our lives.
The disappointing statistics reveal the harsh structural inequality in American society. TheseThese data challenge us to continue broad studies to identify the roots of the inequality and find the applicable types of governmental and social intervention to eliminate these barriers. Businesses also should contribute to embracing diversity among workforces.
Gillespie, A. (2020). Race and the Obama administration: Substance, symbols, and hope. Manchester University Press.
Horowitz, J. M. (2019). Americans see advantages and challenges in the country’s growing racial and ethnic diversity. Pew Research Center. Web.
Newport, F. (2020). American attitudes and race. Gallup. Web.
Stahl, A. (2021). What’s to come in 2021 for diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. Forbes. Web.
USAFacts. (2021). 2021 annual report. USAFacts. Web.