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  • Writer's pictureDr. Juhanna Rogers, PH.D


More and more, businesses have made diverse hiring a priority, and we have heard from so many of our members about the challenges they face, not just in diverse talent recruitment, but in retention. It’s not just about getting the people. It is about fostering an environment where they can thrive and grow.

While the pandemic has impacted the employment of so many, we are beginning to see trends that talent — particularly young and diverse talent — are choosing to explore their options to find employment where their abilities, voices and potential are nurtured and valued. Likewise, the prioritization of diversity and inclusion by employers, clear pathways to promotion and corporate stances on social issues are increasingly among required criteria for jobseekers, not just a preference.1

Among the trends employers must recognize is that talented professionals of all backgrounds are changing jobs for more fulfilling roles. They seek purpose, desiring to drive meaningful impact in their role. They seek autonomy, and want to be able to work when, where and how they want. We are in an age where it is possible, via smartphones and laptops, to do anything from anywhere. With remote work options likely here to stay across many professions and industries,2 consider how this form of flexibility could expand your organization’s diversity by creating more opportunities for more individuals. These job seekers are also looking for companies where a work-life balance is valued and possible.

This demographic wants to work at companies that have a social consciousness about equity matters and they want to see their companies act upon that corporate responsibility. A recent study found that “68% of employees would consider quitting their current job and working with an organization with a stronger viewpoint on the social issues that matter most to them.”3 Others have noted the foundational nature of this thinking for today’s generation of job seekers. “[There] is a generational shift in the belief that these values are really important and foundational to their experiences as workers,” said Alvin B. Tillery Jr., director of the Center for Diversity and Democracy at Northwestern University. “If you’re under 35, you expect these conversations [on systemic racism], and if you don’t offer them, you’ll have trouble recruiting.”4

To recruit and retain diverse talent that not only benefits your business but supports the growth and development of these individuals in your workforce, it is critical to foster opportunities for learning and leadership. Ensure that all levels and demographics within your workplace have access to mentorship, professional development, performance reviews, and goal setting with supervisors that are focused on growth, delivering results and elevating their potential.

CenterState CEO’s Generation Next Initiative focuses on attracting and retaining diverse young professionals in Central New York, fostering opportunities for career advancement, and connecting diverse talent through social engagement and networking. Reach out to us at to learn more about how you and your teams can get involved in supporting or participating in these networking and connection opportunities.

-Dr. J.

Dr. Juhanna Rogers is vice president of Racial Equity and Social Impact at CenterState CEO. Contact Dr. Rogers at to learn more about racial equity and social impact initiatives, DEI training courses and consultation services available through CenterState CEO.

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