We Need To Keep Talking Latino Demographics Until They Get It!

I had recently written a piece on the special forum I attended on Latino Demographics organized by Conexión a leadership and mentoring program at MIT. The following is an update from their recent newsletter…….

Demographics…  Peter Drucker said it best: “The dominant factor in the next two decades is not going to be economics or technology. It will be demographics.”

He could never have known, how right he was, on so many levels.

Our New Demography event took place Monday June 18th at MIT and was hosted by MIT Office of Human Resources and the MIT Council on Staff and Faculty Diversity and Inclusion. We also wish to thank our sponsor for the evening Eastern Bank. Conexión has been hosting this discussion for seven years running, before the Latino phenomenon garnered two covers on Time magazine and back when it was not sexy,

to talk about the impending demographic shift, the impact on our economic vitality and what it means for the country in general. More often than not, what

we hear about is the economic purchasing power of Latinos, which right now stands at about $1Trillion. This number makes U.S. Latinos the 15th largest economy in the world. And yet, while that number is sexy, the economic conditions that exist within this group in the U.S., is clearly not so.

Through the years, the average total household income of Hispanic/Latinos has remained consistently behind the national average. Since 1972, when some observers began to pay attention to what would become inexorable Latino population growth, the median Hispanic household income in 2009 dollars increased from $35,200 to just $38,039 – an increase of about $2,839, or about $78 a year. For the same time period, the white non-Hispanic household income increased by almost $7,551 from $47,310 to $54,861, or about $204 annually. The implications are profound for both the workplace and the quality of life in America. If the Hispanic population continues to grow at the rate it has (43% since 2000), what exactly will it mean for the nation to have a majority minority that is both under educated and economically significantly lagging in earnings? How can we sustain our economy under that scenario?

For a country that for which Latinos will bear increasing responsibility, it is incredible that very little is being done to change these numbers. And that is why CONEXION is so important. The reality is that the U.S. needs succession planning. We know where the numbers are heading and now is the time for action. Take for example this New York Times series, “Remade in America”, which explores the population shift via an interactive educational map exploring Diversity in the Classroom, our future workforce. Given these numbers, Conexión is ready to equip today’s Latino professionals by providing a counter to the negative stereotypes and the tools necessary to lead the vastly different looking future. Hillary Clinton famously said, “It takes a village.” We could not agree more and hope you will join us in:

  1. Succession Planning and Retention of HispanicLatinos in positions of leadership within corporations, non-profits, government and boards of directors;
  2. Continuous development of people and support of programs that provide value for not only corporations but talent; and
  3. Investment, advocacy and a deeper effort in understanding race, ethnicity, culture and identity within this group and the implications for the country as a whole.

Our work is about ensuring that we are all invested in our shared future. What happens to this growing community affects all of us, our children, our grandchildren and generations to come. Managing this change in the 21st century is really on ALL of us.

 What will YOU do for this brave new world?

Share and spread this message…….