Industry should observe diverse employee landscape

Jan. 1, 2020
Our workplaces are becoming more diverse by the day. In fact, the word "minority" could be a term of the past, as Asians, Latinos and African-American will comprise half of the U.S. population by 2050, according to John DiBenedetto, executive vice pr

Our workplaces are becoming more diverse by the day. In fact, the word “minority” could be a term of the past, as Asians, Latinos and African-American will comprise half of the U.S. population by 2050, according to John DiBenedetto, executive vice president and chief people officer of General Parts International.

DiBenedetto, who presented a diverse workforce presentation this week at the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo, says that 50 percent of the U.S. population under 40 years old are minorities, and minorities make up 75 percent of those under 10.

Diversity should be observed at both the customer and employee levels, he says.

Asian consumers are the most brand conscious and African Americans are the most fashion conscious, DiBenedetto points out. Hispanics customers express high brand loyalty and are automotive enthusiasts.

Asian spending power was more than $450 billion in 2007, he notes.

Business owners are encouraged to recognize these minorities not only in customer relations, but with employees as well.

“Diverse employees attract other diverse employees and diverse customers,” he adds.

In observing workplace diversity, it’s crucial to choose the right person for the job, DiBenedetto says. “We should target female and minority hires, but you must always recruit the most qualified people.”

By creating a diverse customer and employee base, companies will be more successful, and the employee makeup should reflect the local demographics, he adds.

DiBenedetto says that General Parts posts a diversity statement on its Web site, along with creating recruitment tools for store managers a comprehensive training curricula and a score card to increase accountability.

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