Lately, diversity and inclusion appear to be more popular discussion topics in Mexican labor culture. However, studies have shown that many companies are still not willing to augment diversity rates in their workplaces, nor improve tolerance or give additional necessities to minorities.

The photo above represents a survey completed by the Mexican National Institute of Statistics and Geography. In each box are the 3 largest problems faced by different social groups who experience high levels of discrimination in Mexico. Nearly all of them cited lack of employment opportunities as a major issue, even though the unemployment rate in 2017 was only about 3.4%.

            It is clear that certain groups face hardships in finding work, and further difficulty avoiding discrimination or being attended to properly even after being employed. Employed elderly people claimed they were not given sufficient pensions. Female domestic workers also noted that they were not given sufficient benefits and suffered from unkindness or abuse in their work. In a study done by OCC Mundial in 2017, 65% of their participants said that they had suffered from discrimination as employees in their places of work. That percentage was broken up further by factors affecting the discrimination:

  • Age (47%)
  • Physical appearance and personal image (20%)
  • Gender (10%)
  • Socioeconomic status (8%)
  • Culture (7%)
  • Sexual orientation (6%)

Why and How Should We Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace?

            The importance of building diversity and an accepting environment in a company should not be neglected or taken lightly, as it has the potential to improve the outreach, quality, and productivity of its operations.

            Many recruiting strategies can be done through technological means, which can help hirers focus more on the capabilities of the person instead of their outward appearance or other extraneous variables (https://www.techfunnel.com/hr-tech/5-efficient-ways-technology-can-be-used-for-diversity-recruiting/). Widening the available talent pool rather than shutting its door for certain groups can make a company’s workforce more competitive.

            Having diverse perspectives in the workplace can strengthen a company’s creativity and its market reach. Due to the influx of millennials – one of the most diverse, open, and interconnected generations – into the workforce and consumer bases, companies must begin reflecting some demographics and values of their clients from the inside-out or they will miss out on key commercial opportunities. This diverse customer base will be easier to target if businesses hire people who identify with more of those diversities.  

            Efforts to facilitate diversity must not stand alone, but should followed by attempts to create an inclusive environment for that diversity. Employers and employees should be trained on empathy, acceptance, and the importance of differences in their work environment. A more comfortable work environment will make employees less likely to quit, improve teamwork and communication skills, and help workers to be able to focus on the task at hand rather than fear of being ridiculed. Additionally, Certain people should be attended to differently as to fit their needs, such as elderly folk, people with disabilities, or pregnant women, in order to be able to do their jobs better.

Madeleine Brenner 

International Business Development at Grupo Prodensa