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The Millennial Mentality - Why Team Diversity Should Be A Top Priority

Ian WhitmanAs the Hispanic population continues to increase, more and more Millennials from ethnic minorities are entering the workforce.  Minorities in general make up almost half of all Millennials, with Latinos accounting for nearly 25% of this demographic and growing at the fastest pace. As these new graduates and young professionals seek jobs to start or further their careers, it’s important to consider the type of environment in which they are likely to thrive.

One of the dynamics that should be considered, but often is not, is the diversity of the team these employees hope to join. A diverse workplace gives employees increased opportunity for both personal and professional growth.

With regard to personal development, employees in diverse workplaces are more likely to be surrounded by innovation and creativity through collaboration.

According to the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, the U.S. workforce is changing dramatically.  From 1980 to 2020, the white working-age population is projected to decline from 82% to 63%, while the minority portion of the workforce is projected to double (from 18% to 37%), and the Hispanic/Latino portion is projected to almost triple (from 6% to 17%).

Job seekers that select a diverse work environment now will find increased success in connecting with coworkers, and with clients.

By ensuring that team members are surrounded with people who have experienced different languages, foods, customs and even body language, today’s workforce can increase their chances of connecting with others, which ultimately leads to personal growth and career advancement.

For example, our firm, Rosano Partners, is in an industry that is widely known as homogeneous.  We made the decision to buck that trend, and we decided to engage an extremely diverse workforce from the start.  The result is tangible - our team members, who range from ages 22 - 76 and speak more than 14 languages, consistently report that they are able to perform at a higher level based on the collaboration and shared understanding they experience in the workplace.

The fact is, having employees that speak various languages, understand how business is done across other cultures, and know the best way to communicate with minority populations can foster the growth of a company. It creates a valuable opportunity for each employee, and for the company as a whole. Having an available resource to quickly describe ethnic and cultural differences, having someone on hand to translate a document or jump on a call with a client that may have trouble speaking outside their native language, or having a quick thought on the best way to handle a negotiation can assist in furthering relationships and building a devoted client base.

There are many benefits to working with individuals from different backgrounds. A diverse work environment offers a place to learn new ideas, understand cultural differences, and increase business opportunities that may not have been available elsewhere. Understanding these nuances can set a young professional on the path to personal and professional growth, blazing new trails along the way.

Ian Whitman is Chief Strategy and Operations Officer of Rosano Partners, a firm that is known for using integrated technology and an extremely diverse team to produce commercial real estate solutions that make a difference in urban markets through Southern California.  Rosano Partners specializes in retail and multifamily product, unique urban development opportunities, as well as placements of equity or debt.  More information is available at www.rosanopartners.com


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