According to 2010 U.S. Census data, there will no longer be a single racial majority in the general population of the United States by the year 2042.
Due to these changing demographics in the U.S. and ever increasing globalization, more and more businesses are recognizing the importance of investing in diversity and inclusion initiatives as a part of their overall company objectives. In order to support a diverse workforce a business must have a strategy both to attract minorities and to retain them. One of the best ways a company can attract the best and brightest of prospective diverse candidates is to create programs for multi-ethnic students and to forge relationships with multicultural organizations.
Nationwide is one company that understands that diversity and inclusion are important to staying competitive in the market and serving its broad base of customers. Nationwide CEO Stephen S. Rasmussen has declared that “It’s our commitment to diversity and inclusion that helps us meet our On Your Side promise every day. From our board of directors to our executive team to our associates and agents, we know we can accomplish great things together.”
The company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is exemplified by its reliance on diverse suppliers and its programs that are aimed at attracting, hiring, retaining, and developing the best associates. Nationwide has a history of established relationships with diverse suppliers, including Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs). As a result of Nationwide’s understanding of the unique challenges facing minority owned businesses, its Supply Management Services and Supplier Diversity Office work together to ensure that a diverse supplier base is available during the bid process. Both the supplier and the company benefit from establishing a positive and effective business relationship. The diverse supplier is able to take advantage of the variety of opportunities of serving the company’s broad base of customers while the business is able to help drive its mission of diversity and inclusion.
Another way to bolster a business’ diversity and inclusion program is to develop a college recruitment program in order to attract the best diverse candidates. The recognition of the importance that the next generation of workers will play in the company’s future success has led Nationwide executives to develop innovative programs to attract minority students. Nationwide offers a variety of opportunities for undergraduate students and recent graduates. Its Financial Leadership Rotation Program is an intensive college recruitment initiative that trains and develops the talent of future financial leaders. Nationwide also offers internships for college students to develop the talents of the best and brightest diverse candidates. Programs like these are vital because they allow for the professional development of minority candidates while also infusing diversity into the workforce at the entry level.
Corporate affiliations and sponsorships are another way for companies to practice diversity and inclusion. Nationwide is the sponsor of the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo which draws over 1,500 people from across the country and is considered the premier business conference and networking event for African American entrepreneurs, corporate executives and professionals
If businesses are to remain competitive in a global market, they must recognize the importance of diversity and build programs that draw on a diverse pool of talent. Diversity leads to creativity and creativity leads to innovation. Innovation is vital to a company’s success because it allows a business to differentiate itself from its competitors. The nation’s increasingly diverse population can be an opportunity for the United States to become more competitive in global economy if more businesses adapt to our changing demographics by cultivating the talents and contributions offered by all Americans, including people of color.