America’s population has always been diverse. There are 40 million foreign-born U.S. residents as of late, making up around one-fifth of the world’s migrants.
In California alone, you may encounter more immigrants than natural-born Americans. However, America’s workforce doesn’t seem to be very welcoming toward immigrants. While things have definitely improved over the years, we could still use more companies that open their doors for immigrants.
According to Pew Research, only about 29 million immigrants were working or looking for work in the U.S. as of 2017. Lawful immigrant workers, a.k.a. documented ones, were at 21.2 million, and an additional 7.1 million immigrants workers were unauthorized.
Refugees are also starting to gain attention as employees in the U.S. In fact, research shows that hiring them proved beneficial for companies. With immigrants and refugees in your team, your workforce will diversify, which is a crucial key to succeeding in 2021 and beyond.
A Diverse Team Creates Diverse Perspectives
Today, globalization is no longer just branching out to other countries, which only mega-corporations could do. Startups can now globalize as well, but instead of expanding to other nations, they simply hire candidates from diverse backgrounds. As a result, they can gain credible insight when testing out a product for an overseas market, for example.
Your small company should lean on every resource if you want to grow your market. And a diverse workforce is one of the most accessible resources out there. By hiring immigrants, refugees, or Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), you’ll have a global team that’ll bring different perspectives and cultural understanding to the table. In turn, you can serve your international customers impeccably.
The word “diversity” is in fact a big buzzword on the internet today. Consumers seek it not just from companies, but also from the media. They seek ads and other promotional materials that don’t exclude underrepresented communities, like Asians and Blacks. The LGBTQIA+ community is seeking more representation as well, and Calvin Klein, among others, has listened. They promoted the LBGTQIA+ community through their Pride 2021 collection and partnered with Trevor Project to raise awareness of the organization’s mental health services.
Diversity isn’t just about race and color, but also about different aspects of identity, like gender. However, diversifying a workforce shouldn’t be done for the sake of Likes or internet fame. That would be no different from greenwashing, which is the act of making false claims about sustainability. To diversify ethically, make a team that’ll help you reach your goals. For example, if you want to tap into an overseas market, hire people from different international backgrounds.
Diversifying Empowers Marginalized Workers
Immigrants come to the States in hopes of making a better life for themselves. Refugees, meanwhile, have been forced out of their homes and would appreciate finding sanctuary in the U.S. Thus, you have a responsibility to make your country a safer and livable place for both groups.
Your company represents the American society. If your team isn’t diverse, you may appear biased towards natural-born Americans. On the contrary, a diverse team will indicate that you value skill over race, gender, age, or disability. You empower marginalized workers as a result and make a positive impact on the quality of their lives in the U.S.
If you’re worried about the paperwork involved in hiring immigrants, an experienced immigration attorney will help you. They’ll take charge of the legal processes required in sponsoring visas. Sponsoring visas will help you attract more diverse talent, and guarantee that the process is completely legal.
A Diverse Workforce Boosts Your Reputation
At the end of the day, you’re a company that aims to impress consumers, so you need to boost your reputation. Diversifying your team allows you to do that, but it doesn’t make your intentions selfish. In fact, it’s a win-win situation for your company and your employees. The company’s improved reputation can lead to greater profits, which would, in turn, result in better opportunities for your employees.
In addition, a diverse team shows your work ethics, fair employment practices, and appreciation for different cultures and lifestyles. The fact that you can unite a team coming from different backgrounds also proves your leadership skills. This can impact your customer service because leading a diverse team also means you can interact with a diverse set of customers.
We’re now in the age where biases can’t be excused for lack of awareness. Companies should catch up and adapt to the new world, where a homogeneous society no longer thrives. By diversifying their workforce, they can get a glimpse of what a united world would look like, and how skills and talents aren’t defined by someone’s color, race, gender, age, or disability.