Why Multicultural Millennials Need to Embrace Generational & Cultural Diversity
by Tru Pettigrew
We all know the statistics of how diverse the millennial generation is. This generation is known for its cultural curiosity, racial and ethnic diversity and multicultural mindset. I am very encouraged when I see the way things are heading with the level of acceptance and inclusion among the millennial generation. I imagine that we can only expect things to get better from a diversity and inclusion standpoint with the generations to come.
This spirit of inclusion seems to be challenged though, when it comes to generational lines. This isn’t about millennials building a social circle of Gen Xer’s and Baby Boomers. Your friends are your friends, and they should be people in your age group that you can relate to. Your social circle and your network are different though. While your social circle should include your peers, millennials should make sure that the overall network includes members of Generation X and Baby Boomers. And the same millennial love and embrace that transcends race and ethnicity among peer groups should be applied throughout generational networks. This is particularly important for African American millennials.
The unemployment rate for this generation is extremely high and it is even higher among the African American segment. The higher unemployment rate among African American millennials cannot solely be assigned to discrimination. It is also not about the African American lacking the talent or being unqualified, because that is definitely not the case. The reality is, that one of the most notable ways that people are placed in highly coveted jobs and career paths is by “the hook-up”. All things being equal (and not always), decision-makers in leadership and senior management look for referrals from, and hire people that they know, trust and like! These are obviously people that they have existing relationships with.
For millennials to better prepare themselves to land jobs, I strongly suggest building and expanding your generational networks as early as possible. And make sure those generational networks are as racially and ethnically diverse as your social circles. The longer and stronger your relationships are with these decision-makers, the better. When your qualifications aren’t the problem and discrimination is not the issue, chances are you were just on the wrong side of favoritism. And the simple truth is “Favor’s not fair”, but it’s real.
Tru Access provides strategic counsel, guidance and direction to organizations, corporations, teams, groups and individuals to help them establish, achieve and exceed goals through identifying and maximizing their gifts, talents and resources. We leverage over 20 years of Corporate Brand Marketing expertise and over 15 years of Winning Coaching Techniques to deliver measurable results.