Posts tagged ‘managing an intern’

Diversity & Inclusion: The impact on Hispanic interns

by Miguel Corona

The concepts of diversity and inclusion have evolved dramatically in recent decades. Looking back twenty years ago to the 1990s, it’s hard to imagine diversity concepts and practices of that period still being applicable to today’s work environment. At that time, a concept like diversity was mostly about creating awareness rather than a strategic business requirement. Today, many U.S. businesses are not only global in scope, but they also function within a social and work environment that is characterized by a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-generational domestic population. Different demographic groups like Hispanics and other people of color are driven by different needs, perspectives, and challenges. So as the external environment has changed, employers must make sure ideas and practices related to diversity and inclusion have changed as well. Consequently, as you employ more Hispanic interns into your organization, it’s important to understand the meaning of diversity and inclusion and how these two concepts might influence Hispanic interns’ experiences in your organization.   

Generally, diversity can be viewed as individual similarities and differences. These are characteristics such as ethnicity, gender, race, physical abilities, sexual orientation, etc. Inclusion provides a sense of belonging which provides an employee a sense of confidence and commitment from the organization. Ironically, an organization is still able to achieve diversity without attaining inclusion and vice versa. Hence, when managing Hispanics and other people of color in your organization, it’s essential to accomplish both. While most organizations’ diversity and inclusion efforts initially focus on recruitment, just as important, if not more, is their focus on the retention and development aspects of diversity and inclusion. While many companies are satisfied in recruiting diverse employees, many are still hampered by high turnover rates of Hispanics and other minorities associated with a lack of growth and opportunities.

How can employers make sure they’re achieving both diversity and inclusion? The most important factor is assuring that diversity and inclusion are part of the organizational culture and incorporated into the overall business strategy. Diversity and inclusion are no longer just concepts to be used as part of training programs. To be successful, diversity and inclusion must be employed by senior level management to the supervisor managing an intern. Supervisors that manage Hispanic interns are the “glue” that leads to a successful internship experience. Ensure supervisors are demonstrating diverse and inclusive behaviors and sending key messages that parallel your organization’s commitment to these principles. Keep in mind that Hispanic interns will rely more on what they observe than what the organization says.

April 23, 2010 at 10:43 am Leave a comment

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This blog is dedicated to employers with a focus on how to hire and manage interns effectively. We will have a variety of experts who will share helpful ideas, tips and more. We invite you to comment, ask questions and share your experiences. You are also welcome to submit written contributions to this blog.

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