Hope Quantified: Trends Towards the Future of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Business

Hope Quantified: Trends Towards the Future of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Business

Hope Quantified: Trends Towards the Future of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Business

Andrew Jame Sanchez

Andrew Jame Sanchez

Andrew Jame Sanchez

Blue Flower
Blue Flower
Blue Flower

Introduction

What does hope mean to you?

You might say that hope is a willingness to move forward because you believe the next day will be better than today. It is a sense or an expectation that tomorrow will be better than the present. You might define hope as an idea that humans will be in a better state of being in the future than the moment we are in right now. Hope for you might be specific, broad, or both. Or, you might think that hope is simply a dream of positive change and the ability to thrive. This is a dream— a hope—, that for many marginalized people within the workforce, has yet to be realized.


Hope Quantified

In a recent report from the World Economic Forum (WEF) from May 2023, hope is quantified into data points that participants would like to see in the future. For example, 

“A majority of companies will prioritize women (79%), youth under 25 (68%), and those with disabilities (51%) as part of their DEI programmes. A minority will prioritize those from a disadvantaged religious, ethnic, or racial background (39%), workers over age 55 (36%), those who identify as LGBTQI+ (35%), and those from a low-income background (33%).”

We don’t usually think of hope as something that can be quantified into a specific number, instead it’s usually considered ethereal and philosophical. But for many marginalized groups and individuals who have struggled to fit into the workplace, statistics can support the need for more respect for diversity. In showing the numerical power of hope for a more inclusive workplace, there is proof that people want progress. For many people, this proof is hope.


Post-Pandemic Work

Due to the increase in post-pandemic remote work opportunities, disabled workers like myself have been given a greater voice within the workplace. But it’s not enough. As of 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor published the “Persons with a Disability: Labor Force Characteristics Summary,” supporting that people with disabilities have an unemployment rate twice as high as someone without a disability. This is not good enough, especially for those of us who have experienced unemployment on the basis of our disability. 

In 2023, we saw an increase in disabled people entering the workforce, especially in cities like New York, where the Office of Budgets and Statistics concluded, “Between 2020 and 2022, the number of working-age people with disabilities grew 14.4 percent in New York and 10.9 percent nationally.” While not a large percentage, this shows that positive changes are being made post-pandemic. As a member of the disabled community, I have observed that, as a society, we have slowly begun to see the value in workplace diversity in ways that were not previously appreciated. 

Workplace D.E.I. practices in particular can be a source of hope for not just marginalized workers, but also disabled citizens and People of Color. D.E.I practices are a platform for organizations with the same hopes and a commitment to act upon them, allowing businesses to build with hope instead of against it. LinkedIn exemplifies the need for diversity progress by providing more statistics on the significant and profitable trends that diversity practices result in. These diverse companies and organizations that prioritize inclusive practices to allow for greater social accessibility and workplaces should take center stage moving forward as examples of hope. As the D&I Global Market Report states, 

“Organizations in the top quartile for gender diversity have a +25% likelihood of financially outperforming their peers.”


Conclusion

Companies around the world need to read about these hopes and seriously reflect on how they can turn people’s hopes into reality. This requires making a commitment to providing a workplace environment that allows for positive change and the ability for all employees to thrive. As different studies have proven, this is not only a necessity for employees, but also provides benefits to employers. 

As someone in the workplace, I all have my own idea of what hope is. I want everyone to experience the benefits that collective hope can offer to workers of all identities and backgrounds. Many people may have similar ideas too. Seeing numbers and statistics quantifies this sense of hope, putting it into a perspective that hope comes in similar forms for many people. This makes it even more important to start a conversation about how this quantified hope can become tangible in everyday life. 


Andrew Sanchez: I am a Curriculum Specialist at Social Optics. Born and raised in New York City, I’ve grown up with an appreciation for inclusivity and representation for all people. I identify strongly with my North African, Portuguese, and Taino Indigenous heritage, as well as my neurodiversity. I struggled with my identity as a child, and my experience with standardized education was shaped by my undiagnosed Autism until the age of 25. Throughout my life, I have been writing and publishing blogs on social media. Now, as a curriculum writer, I approach writing from the perspective that we can best support students of all ages by providing them with an unshakable foundation of who they are and how they can overcome individual challenges to become the person they want to be come, thus preparing them for real life challenges presented by our ever-changing world.

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All Rights Reserved. 2024 Social Optics Inc.

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All Rights Reserved. 2024 Social Optics Inc.

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All Rights Reserved. 2024 Social Optics Inc.

Seeing Differently, Communicating Clearly.

All Rights Reserved. 2024 Social Optics Inc.