Diversity and Multiculturalism are words we, as business people, understand much better today than we did even a decade ago. However, the need for integration of diversity and multiculturalism into the business mainstream is growing at a pace much faster than our understanding.
It's true businesses across a broad cross-section of industries have efforts to embrace diversity in the workplace. But we can do more, especially when you consider that diversity is more than meets the eye. It is not simply a race and gender proposition, but rather a notion more accurately captured by the word "multiculturalism."
The Detroit Regional Chamber places a strong emphasis on diversity and multiculturalism. We are a valued resource for our members who intend to embed those qualities deeper within their own companies.
Why is this so important? Diversity is a business imperative to attracting, hiring and retaining the best talent available in the current and future job pool. It is also essential to connecting with our customers. More than that, it is simply the right thing to do. These statements hold true for all of us.
Consider the changing Michigan demographic. By 2030, it is projected there will be a population growth of more than 300,000 in the African American community and nearly 200,000 in the Hispanic community. Not to mention the fact that we have the second largest concentration of residents from the Arab nations outside of the Middle East.
Consider, as well, the emerging markets in Michigan--the increase in minority buying power and the rate of minority-owned business growth, which is occurring five times faster in Michigan than the rest of the United States on average.
Through the Detroit Regional Economic Partnership, the Chamber...