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A Call for Change in Corporate Diversity Programs

By: *Melissa Chapaska

Blog Topic: Minorities in the Corporate World

A Call for Change in Corporate Diversity Programs

Diversity is essential to a corporation’s ability to compete in today’s economy. While corporations seem to have acknowledged the importance of diversity with “diversity days” and other programs intended to promote racial diversity, these programs have failed to create an increase in diversity among corporate leadership positions. For instance, as noted in a recent MSNBC blog, despite the Hispanic population’s growth in number and influence, Hispanics comprise only about 3% of corporate board members and 1.2% of Fortune’s 500 CEOs.

Furthermore, according to an article by the Center for American Progress, African Americans and Asians are also extremely underrepresented in corporate leadership positions (constituting only 0.8% and 1.8% of Fortune’s 500 CEOs, respectively). These startling low numbers suggest that despite corporations’ best intentions, corporate diversity programs provide the appearance of corporate diversity without actually promoting diversity in the leadership of these corporations. As a result, it would be prudent for corporations to reconsider the effectiveness of their ongoing diversity programs and take more proactive steps in recruiting and promoting minority workers from within, in order to best compete in today’s diverse economy.

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race.

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*Melissa Chapaska is a staff member on the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race. To learn more about Melissa, click here to visit her page.
References
Lili Gil Valletta, Pope Francis: A reminder of Latino priority for corporate America and the GOP, MSNBC (March 14, 2013), http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/03/14/pope-francis-a-reminder-of-latino-priority-for-corporate-america-and-the-gop/.
Crosby Burns, Kimberly Barton & Sophia Kerby, The State of Diversity in Today’s Workforce, Center for American Progress (July 12, 2012), http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/labor/report/2012/07/12/11938/the-state-of-diversity-in-todays-workforce/.
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