MMAC board approves strategies to further engage region’s employers in reducing racial disparities
MILWAUKEE – The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce’s Board of Directors has approved a plan to improve the region’s competitiveness by reducing racial disparities among its African American and Hispanic/Latino populations. Specifically, the plan is focused on supporting employers in developing and advancing talent, improving educational outcomes, and growing corporate partnerships -- all aimed at raising prosperity and moving forward as a Region of Choice for all.
To measure progress towards the goal of a more inclusive and competitive economy, MMAC is releasing data reported in aggregate from more than 100 companies with a combined total of 120,000 employees in the region. This data establishes a 2020 baseline for both overall employment and management employment of African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos. The companies providing this data have pledged to increase employment and management of African American and Hispanic/Latino employees, while sharing best practices for creating more inclusive workplaces.
Current employment levels of companies that have signed the Region of Choice Pledge
By 2025, these companies have pledged to increase overall employment of African American and Hispanic/Latino talent by 15% and management employment by 25%.
The three objectives approved by the Board include:
“Racial disparities are perhaps the greatest single factor holding the Milwaukee Region from reaching its full potential,” said MMAC President Tim Sheehy. “Employers participating in the Region of Choice pledge acknowledge their responsibility to be part of the solution. They also recognize what study after study tells us: Building more diverse teams leads to better decision-making and ultimately boosts a company’s bottom line.”
Supporting actions for each objective will be refined as the work evolves, they include:
1: Improve the recruitment, retention and advancement of African American and Hispanic talent.
MMAC’s survey of 1,100 diverse managers, along with focus groups and executive interviews, provided several key takeaways, including that corporate culture is a key barrier to the recruitment, retention and advancement of Black and Brown employees. Recommendations include:
2: Increase educational attainment and career development opportunities for African American and Hispanic talent
The region’s working-age population is projected to grow by less than 1% through 2040. During that time, the region will become a minority-majority community. Eliminating racial gaps in educational outcomes is critical to meeting the workforce needs of the region’s employers.
Identifiable by ownership race, 95% of the region’s 25,000 businesses are White-owned, while 3% are African American-owned, and 2% are Hispanic/Latino-owned. Corporate partnerships have the capacity to grow African American and Hispanic/Latino business wealth.