20 Jan DEI Committee Update 1-18-22
What can the 2020 Census tell us about the diversity in Pinellas County, which has a population of 959,107. We are:
- 52% female
- 74% white (not Hispanic), 11% black, 10% Hispanic (may be included in other categories), 4% Asian, .4% other, 2% two or more races
- 12% foreign-born; 14% language other than English spoken at home
- 91% with high school education or higher, 32% with bachelor’s degree or higher
- 10% with a disability
- 11% in poverty
- 15% persons under 65 without health insurance
The diversity not reported by the census include such variables as marital status, parental status, military experience, religious affiliation, political affiliation/ideology, socio-economic status, communication style, work style, ethnic heritage, sexual orientation, appearance and work experience. What we do know about the BPW/SPP members is that we have more than 30 different occupations represented among our members (both currently in the workplace and retired), ages spanning from 30s to 100, varying race (white, black and Asian), varying parental status (with and without children), varying marital status (married, divorced, widowed, partnered, single) and BPW tenure ranging from brand new to 75+ years. These differences impact our experiences and our world view, which impacts how we behave and assumptions we make about others. We encounter diversity in many (most) of our daily interactions with other individuals. Are we aware that others may think and behave differently than us and of the implications of that?
The challenge for BPW as an organization whose mission is to “achieve equity for all women in the workplace through advocacy, education and information” is what impact does diversity have on us as individuals and as an organization. We are united behind our mission but does it mean the same thing to each of us? The Diversity Committee previously decided to focus on ourselves first, to educate and inform our members about what diversity, equity, inclusion and justice mean and to better understand our individual behaviors. Please join us on that journey. Cory Adler, the previous committee chair, resigned as chair due to her new position with the St. Petersburg city administration. Sheila Barry-Oliver, who created and led a global workforce diversity initiative in the corporate sector, has volunteered to be the new committee chair. Please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join the committee. Once the committee members are identified, they will choose when and where to meet. Please consider joining the committee; all viewpoints are welcome.