An Immigrant’s View of Corporations and Staffing — by Barry Downes

Coming from a diverse background, I have always had an interest in diversity and thought about it holistically. From a very young age I was very passionate about diversity and wanted to take in as much knowledge as I could about it. I recall speaking to various elders about the topic; some were family members, many were family friends and acquaintances. They spoke of the changes that were inevitable and only a matter of time. When an individual comes from a diverse background they tend to be more aware and in tune with diversity. That is not to say they are more knowledgeable about the topic than someone that is not from a diverse background, but they sense the emerging trends.

I was born in Barbados and moved to Brooklyn, NY when I was 2 years old. Both my parents are from Barbados; the majority of my family is from Barbados and other islands in the Caribbean. As a young teen I moved to a suburb in Central, NJ. Each of those environments is quite different from one another; despite surface similarities. Living in each of those different settings molded me and gave me a wide spectrum of thoughts, especially when it comes to diversity.

As an adult, I sometimes reminisce about all the different areas where I have lived and how diversity or lack of diversity has contributed to my growth and development as an individual. Although I have always been interested in diversity, it was not until I started working in the Staffing industry that I truly realized how important of a topic it is; especially when it comes to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Working in an industry which deals with Human Capital has allowed me to truly get a vast look at the workplace overall. Diversity and inclusion goes hand and hand, especially when talking about the corporate culture of a company. Whether a company is large, midsized or small; employers always want the best employees. Many organizations say they promote an inclusive environment, but has this always been the truth? Uninformed individuals would think this is the case, but I have seen the focus on the rise in the couple of years I have been in the staffing industry. Supporting and promoting an inclusive environment allows organizations to make sure they have the best candidates for the job.

America is a diverse country and American-based companies should embody diversity and work towards making sure it’s always present. This is also true of international companies that have headquarters and other locations in the US. I honestly never thought that working in the staffing industry would enlighten me more in regards to diversity. But to my surprise it has and it is wonderful to see that it is going in a positive direction.

Companies are dedicated to supporting a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Corporations are not just talking about the topic, but they have action plans to make sure this is attained. The C-level suites are becoming more diverse with more individuals from diverse backgrounds taking the reins. More spending is dedicated to diversity when budgets are made. This entails larger Diversity and Inclusion departments, as well as training to make sure the issues are being addressed. Companies, especially the larger ones, are looking for diverse suppliers to provide them goods and/or services. They not only want a diverse workforce, but they want to support diversity even with those companies that provide for them.

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