The Key to a More Diverse Workforce

Matt Kirchner - Host of The TechEd Podcast

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Manufacturers are putting more emphasis on diversity efforts than ever before, but are they working?

Executives, if you want to build a more diverse leadership team, then look no further than your frontline workforce.

And if you want to implement diversity practices that truly impact your frontline workers - the ones who stand to gain the most from these efforts - then you need to listen to this episode.

Our host Matt Kirchner combines decades of manufacturing leadership experience with recent data to uncover the key to building a more diverse workforce.

3 Big Takeaways from this episode:

  1. Diversity in your workforce is good, and it's good business: Having a diverse team means your company can relate to any customer, any supplier, any team member. Having a diverse leadership team means there are more and better perspectives at the table when approaching solutions to problems and understanding how they'll impact the entire business and employee base.
  2. Most companies' diversity efforts have missed the group that stands to reap the most socio-economic benefits from them: 2/3 of office workers say diversity efforts are working. But only 4/10 frontline workers think so. Why? Because too often diversity initiatives ignore the interests of the frontline workforce, like giving them skills-building abilities and the path to upward mobility. Keep this in mind: the frontline employs 61% of the entire American workforce, which is also the most diverse workforce you'll find. If you want to invest in diversity, invest in your frontline workers.
  3. The key to a more diverse workforce is skills training for frontline workers, both hard skills and professional skills: Do you want diversity among your supervisors, administrators, managers, executive leadership? Look no further than your frontline workforce. The data tell us that these individuals want to learn new skills and grow into leadership roles. So invest in them. Provide opportunities to progress in their careers, and your entire business will benefit.

Resources

Wall Street Journal Article - Black and Hispanic Employees Often Get Stuck at the Lowest Rung of the Workplace

McKinsey Report - Race in the Workplace: The Frontline Experience

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