According to a July 2, 2004 article on UPI, via HispanicBusiness.com, sensitivity to different cultures may be the biggest asset for business executives, according to a poll by executive search consulting firm Clark Consulting. Of the 322 business students surveyed nationwide, 44 percent said an ability to work with multiple cultures and markets was the single most important attribute needed for an executive to succeed over the next five years.
"Increasingly those executives who are able to work with people from different cultures are in demand, both in the United States and abroad," said Tom Wamberg, chairman of Clark Consulting.
40 million Latinos in the U.S.(13% of the entire population) represent a purchasing power of nearly $700 billion; 46% of the U.S.'s foreign-born population is Hispanic. It makes perfect sense, just by the raw numbers, to begin luring multicultural Hispanics into every business. Retail, manufacturing, or service; from corporate America to the owner-operated small business across the street; everyone will benefit from having individuals as part of their staff with a more ample perspective of the world. Persons who have had the opportunity of being immersed in more than one culture, that have lived two completely different realities (well, at least two). Men and women that will empathize as easily with those as American as apple pie as with some 1st generation Latino, still under the effects of the distress that comes from leaving everything that was familiar in search of a better life in the U.S.
I am not talking about a bilingual staff, even though it would be more than just the icing on the cake for them to be able to interact in more than one language. I mean persons that have more than one frame of reference on how to interact with customers as well as with fellow staff. Employees who can not only understand the narrow-sightedness of both cultures, but understand the WHY behind it and positively react to it. People who can clearly see the positive attributes of each “society”, embracing all of these to the benefit of both the customer and the business’ bottom line.
Yes, it makes good business sense to hire us “multiculturals” (hey, here’s a new word!) and embrace the ever-growing diversity that we are witnessing develop right in front of us.
We are observing this phenomenon take place at every step of the "corporate ladder”.