The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that more than 38 million people will enter the labor force between 2016 and 2026.1 Over this decade, the composition of the labor force will become olderand more racially and ethnically diverse.2 As these demographics shift, how will organizations treat individual differences, marginalized groups, and wide-ranging skills, and expertise? When these new workers enter their first jobs, will they experience inclusive cultures, in which everyone can bring their full selves to work and thrive?
Efforts to protect marginalized and minority groups from workplace discrimination go back decades: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 established a federal law that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees because of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin.3
More than fifty years later, despite progress, women and minorities remain underrepresented across the top decision-making levels in workplaces across the United States.
Women account for almost half (48.9 percent) of the overall labor force,4 but not even a quarter (20.2 percent) of board directors across Fortune 500 companies.5 The situation is even worse for people of color: minority women and men represent only 14.4 percent of board directors.6
Now more than ever, diversity and inclusion are critical topics in workplaces around the world. The #MeToo and “Time’s Up” movements are currently placing a spotlight on sexual harassment and abuse of power in many industries. Companies across the world are pursuing initiatives to combat biases and remove barriers that exclude underrepresented and marginalized groups from having a “seat at the table.”
For libraries and the library profession, equality is critical to our professional identity and ethos. The American Library
Association lists diversity as one of its eight key action areas and a fundamental value of the association.7 Information professionals are not only expected to support inclusive practices in the recruitment, hiring, and retention of diverse colleagues within the field but must also advocate for inclusion in the delivery of their day-to-day work, including how they approach customer service, collection development,programs, academic freedom, and diversity of thought.8
The following list assists in selecting works that raise
awareness and prepare the next generation of professionals for some of the leading issues facing workplaces today from the marginalization of women, racial/ethnic minority groups, people with disabilities, and other minority groups in the global workforce, to the current efforts of organizations to reduce exclusion and foster inclusion. This list also will support both the research needs of academic audiences and practitioners who encounter diversity-related issues in the course of their work (for example, resolving an instance of employment discrimination or developing a program to increase the representation of diverse groups within a work-place or industry). Finally, the resources below can facilitate internal efforts of a library staff or its parent organization in the recruitment, hiring, and retention of their own diverse workforce.
Workplace diversity and inclusion is a very broad topic that covers many themes (for example, inclusive cultures, leadership, discrimination, unconscious bias) and groups
(for example, women, men, people of color, veterans, people with disabilities, LGBT professionals). This list is not exhaustive, and it is meant as a sampling of published resources.
In addition to more traditional resources (books, journals, and magazines), the websites listed in the “Organizations”section offer additional research, programming, and facilitator expertise, which are helpful for organizations seeking to change cultural norms and open conversations on diversity issues.
Attributions: Vol. 57, No. 4 (Summer 2018), pp. 242-247 (6 pages)
Published By: American Library Association