Hiring and retaining a dynamic, diverse team is critical to success in today's global marketplace. In our newest ebook, learn 13 fresh ideas to jumpstart your diversity initiatives.
Did you know that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Trekkie?
It’s true. In fact, he even played a direct role in its history.
Nichelle Nichols as Lieutenant Uhura. Credit: Wikimedia Commons[/caption]
Back in 1966, African-American actress and singer Nichelle Nichols played the groundbreaking role of Lieutenant Uhura on Star Trek: The Original Series. Her character, the starship Enterprise’s communications officer and fourth-in-command on the ship, was one of the first African-American female characters in television history to not be portrayed as a servant. Former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison and actress Whoopi Goldberg have both credited Uhura as inspiration for their successes.
But Uhura was almost a one-hit wonder. Nichols, whose true love was theater, planned to leave after the first season to make her way on Broadway. When she told her plans to Gene Roddenberry, the show’s creator, he implored her to take the weekend to reconsider. “Think about what I am trying to achieve,” he told her, “And how you’re an integral part of it.”
That weekend, Nichols attended an NAACP fundraiser where she met none other than her “greatest fan” -- Martin Luther King, Jr., himself!
When Nichols told King her plans to leave the show, he stopped her short.
“You cannot do that,” he said. “Don’t you understand what this man has achieved?”
“For the first time, we are being seen the world over as we should be seen. We don’t need you to march. You are marching. You are reflecting what we are fighting for.”
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How to Increase Diversity in the Workplace
In many ways, we’re still fighting that fight today, half a century later.
Even though 74% of companies claim to practice diversity hiring, they continue to struggle with finding, attracting, and retaining candidates and employees from diverse backgrounds. In technology, especially, the problem is stark -- only 18.75% of software engineers are women, and a mere 7% of tech employees are African American and Hispanic.
Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “The time is always right to do what’s right.” In the case of workforce diversity, the right thing just so happens to also be the smart thing. Diverse teams make better decisions, create more innovative products, and better serve their increasingly diverse customer base than homogeneous teams do. What’s more? They make more money doing so -- up to 35% more than their less diverse counterparts.
Let’s not wait until the 23rd century to see equality and diversity in the workplace. Our newest ebook has 13 fresh ideas for increasing diversity and inclusion at your company.
- Why diversity is crucial to giving your team the competitive edge
- What unconscious bias is and how it affects your decisions
- How to fix the “pipeline problem” with diversity hiring
- How to create an inclusive culture that will help you attract and retain a dynamic, diverse workforce
Download your free copy by clicking the image below: