Nonprofits Still Lag Behind In Diversity

August 7, 2017       THE NONPROFIT TIMES      

The workforce is expected to expand from 150 million to 164 million within the next five years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. How important is bringing diversity to that growth to your organization?

The odds are your employees believe that not enough is being done on that end. Nearly nine out of 10 employees believe that diversity in hiring is important to their workplace, but seven out of 10 believe that not enough is being done to achieve such goals with considerable more talk than action being done.

    Trending labor statistics and tips to promoting better diversity in the workplace were the focuses of “Diversity in the Workplace,” a session conducted by Laurie De Armond, CPA, partner and national co-leader of the BDO Nonprofit and Education Industry Group and Michael Forster, CPA, CGMA, chief operating and financial officer of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars at the 2017 American Institute of Certified Public Accounts (AICPA) Not-For-Profit Conference in National Harbor, Md. Information provided during the session included:

  • About one-third (33 percent) of the modern workforce is made up of racial minorities including Latino Americans (16 percent), African Americans (12 percent), and Asian Americans (5 percent). Women comprise just under half (47 percent) of the workforce while members of the LGBTQ community account for an estimated 8.2 million workers, just over 6 percent of the total;
  • The nonprofit sector does not reflect this trend, with African Americans accounting for just 10 percent of the workforce, followed by Latino Americans (5 percent) and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (1 percent). More than four out of five (82 percent) of employees are Caucasian;
  • The accounting profession is more diverse in terms of gender, with women representing 63 percent of all accountants and auditors. Yet firm leadership lacks diversity, with 93 percent of firms owned by Caucasians;
  • Discrimination remains a problem, with poll data showing that 69 percent of African Americans and 57 percent of Latino Americans claim that discrimination is a major problem within their respective racial groups. More than a quarter (26 percent) of African Americans and 15 percent of Latino Americans polled said that they had been discriminated against in the workplace within the previous 30 days;
  • The NFL might be a guidepost for inclusiveness. The “Rooney Rule,” which requires teams to interview minority head-coaching candidates has been in effect since 2002 with the city of Pittsburgh and major companies such as Facebook, Amazon, and Pinterest since following similar policies — the logic being that diverse employees come from diverse candidate pools. Consider an organizational policy aimed and increasing pool diversity; and,
  • Look within. Become more self-aware in terms of unconscious biases and make sure that you are being objective in hiring, compensation, and work assignments.