5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: September 22

As the saying goes, the news never stops. In this weekly news roundup, we’ll cover the top news stories impacting American workplaces and communities.   

1. Fair360 Wraps Up Successful Women of Color and Their Allies Event

Fair360 and host sponsor RTX (No. 36 on the 2023 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list) were joined by more than one thousand in-person and virtual attendees for the sixth annual Women of Color and Their Allies event near Washington, D.C. on September 21. 

From research presentations to panels and fireside chats, “Navigating the Intersections of Workforce Equity” was the theme of this year’s event. 

During closing remarks, given in tandem with Fair360 CEO Carolynn L. Johnson, Reena Koshy, Vice President of Digital Transformation at RTX, summed up the day by saying:  

“I walk away knowing that there are resources, that there are tools and that there are people who want us to succeed in empowering women of color in the workplace. I walk away knowing that we have the opportunity to shape tomorrow for ourselves and for the generations to come after us.”  

Check Fair360.com next week to view session recordings, article recaps and photos from the event.  

2. Study Looks at How Equity and Inclusion Language Affects Workplace Culture

In an article from the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), funded by the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology Foundation (SIOP Foundation), experts looked at equity and inclusion statements of Fortune 500 companies. 

The study found that many companies use language that frames equity and inclusion efforts as ways to help “address the deficits of or experienced by marginalized groups,” according to the article. Respondents said the tendency to present these efforts as acts of charity for marginalized groups can hinder their effectiveness.  

3. What the Latest Census Reveals About the U.S. Population

Data from the 2020 U.S. Census was released Thursday, which closely looks at the racial and ethnic breakdown of people in the United States. 

The Census Bureau asked respondents “who marked the box for ‘white’ and/or ‘Black’ to also indicate their non-Hispanic origins, such as German, Haitian, Irish or Jamaican,” NPR reports.  

In an analysis of the data, NPR looked at the “10 most-common detailed responses” for different populations. 

There were 1.78 million people who identified as American Indian or Alaska Native (not specified). Of those identifying as Asian, 5.21 million identified as Chinese, except Taiwanese.  

Of respondents who identified as Black, 24.57 million said they were African American and 17.02 million identified as Other Black or African American (not specified). Of Hispanic/Latino respondents, 35.85 million identified as Mexican and 5.60 million identified as Puerto Rican.  

3. Inclusion Leaders Forge Ahead Amidst Challenges, Expanding Goals

While the equity and inclusion landscape continues to change amid legal and political challenges, workplace fairness leaders are expanding their efforts beyond race and sex, including social economics, according to Bloomberg Law 

While there have been layoffs and departures in some departments, experts argue that the importance of inclusion remains intact. The Generation Z generation also demands that companies demonstrate a dedication to workplace equity.  

5. Tech Companies Look to Non-Traditional Talent to Fill the Skills Gap

The tech industry continues to face a shortage of skilled workers, which some tech leaders say is due to a lack of skills and candidates.  

Korn Ferry’s research shows that the scarcity is hampering the adoption of emerging technologies. This could result in more than 85 million unfilled jobs by 2030 and about $8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenues.  

MIT Technology Review reports that some organizations want to build their talent pipeline by targeting non-traditional talent, including recent high school graduates. 

High costs associated with higher education have contributed to the lack of inclusion in the tech industry, as many students cannot afford tech-related degrees, affecting current and future talent pools.