The Impact of COVID-19 on Racial Minorities

COVID-19 has been most difficult for racial minorities, such as Hispanic or Latinos, African Americans, and American Indians/Alaska Natives. Due to social inequities, these groups face a disproportionate amount of pressure not only from a health standpoint, but also an economic standpoint.[1] The challenges these communities face is also compounded by discrimination. Relying on the federal government to solve this problem is simply not enough.

From a business standpoint, a staff or team that is both ethnically and racially diverse has financial benefits. For example, companies with “diverse executive teams were 33% more likely” to record better profits than the national average, according to a report from McKinsey & Company.[2] Providing a company culture of inclusivity helps the bottom line. It also improves customer orientation.

According to a study by Gallup, “47% of millennials prioritize diversity” when choosing a place to work.[3] Hiring this generation of workers, many still entering the workforce and competing for top positions, is tantamount towards hiring top talent. Those of us that can do something to change the status quo should.

Referring a friend of a racial minority background to a hiring employer is something simple that can be done. Grants for universities and businesses based on minority representation should be reevaluated based upon the percentage of minority representation currently instituted, and should be increased if necessary. Choosing to work at companies that value diversity and inclusion in all aspects of their work will go a long way in how companies choose to hire.

[1] “COVID-19 in Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 25 June 2020, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/racial-ethnic-minorities.html.

[2] Strauss, Karsten. “More Evidence That Company Diversity Leads To Better Profits.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 25 Jan. 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/karstenstrauss/2018/01/25/more-evidence-that-company-diversity-leads-to-better-profits/#48054efd1bc7.

[3] Patrick, Camille, and Ella Washington. “3 Ways Millennials Can Advance Workplace Diversity and Inclusion.” Gallup.com, Gallup, Inc., 30 Nov. 2018, www.gallup.com/workplace/245084/ways-millennials-advance-workplace-diversity-inclusion.aspx.

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