Diversity recruiting poses a particular challenge for employers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. STEM majors are a small group in high demand, and employers are faced with the question of how to differentiate themselves and to attract an even narrower subset of these students: top diversity talent.
The lack of diverse employees in STEM fields in the United States is significant: Although African Americans and Hispanic/Latinos make up more than 27.9% of the total population, they only constitute about 7% of the STEM workforce, according to data from Monster. The remaining 73% is made up of non-Hispanic whites. Since diversity recruiting is recognized as an important business strategy to maximize creativity and productivity, the lack of qualified diverse candidates is a huge problem facing STEM employers.
To respond to the scarcity of diverse STEM majors, many companies are targeting younger age groups with branding efforts, including educational programs designed to generate interest in science among children. Boeing is one example of an employer taking action to begin “recruiting” diverse STEM candidates early on — even as early as preschool. Boeing is a sponsor of Sid the Science Kid, an animated television show on PBS that aims to make science exciting for children. Not only is Sid curious and enthusiastic about learning, but he also comes from a mixed background that is identifiable to children of all ethnicities. Boeing’s sponsorship is a strategic move, getting children excited about science and familiarizing them with Boeing at an early age.
Although these early branding efforts are certainly a step in the right direction, they aren’t always enough. keep reading…