The demographics of the United States are changing at a rapid pace and consequently we are observing a “transformation in the culture and buying habits of this nation.” (Robinson, Pfeffer, & Buccigrossi, 2003)
As a result, historically small niche markets are gaining an increasing prevalence within the U.S. marketplace and have substantially higher buying power. If companies are to continue to thrive in this modern economic environment they must be able to recognize and understand the implications of these demographic shifts. This includes the ability of a company to improve marketplace understanding as well as to implement business practices that will retain a diverse and talented workforce.
The change in demographics within the U.S. has been described as an increase in diversity, but how exactly is diversity defined within the business community? “Companies competing in today’s fast-paced global market tend to favor the broadest definitions of diversity—differences in gender, racioethnicity, age, physical abilities, qualities and sexual orientation, as well as differences in attitude, perspectives and backgrounds.” (Robinson, & Dechant, 1997) Over the past 25 years we have seen an increase in the representation within the American population by ethnic minorities. It is estimated that by the year 2040, half of the American population will belong to a group currently considered to be an ethnic minority! These, in combination with other demographic shifts within the American population, are changes which simply cannot be ignored.
Changes within U.S demographics have led to the development of emerging markets of new customers. As these new customer bases continue to grow we w...
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...re able to be more innovative and creative which in turn helps them to gain an advantage over their competition who does not embrace the idea of workplace diversity. Furthermore companies that have a diverse workforce are more likely to attract top talent as their employees. Research shows that people are more likely to want to work for companies that have diversity. Again in turn having a diverse workforce can give companies an advantage over their competition.
• Robinson, M, Pfeffer, C, & Buccigrossi, J. (2003). Business case for inclusion and engagement. wetWare Inc., 2-10.
• Robinson, G, & Dechant, K. (1997). Building a business case for diversity. The Academy of Management Executive, 11(3), 21-31.
• Diversity (Business). (2010). Wikipedia. Retrieved September 19, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diversity_(business)
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