The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted our world. In just a few weeks, it has changed the way people and brands interact, work, study, shop and relate to each other. However, not everybody is affected the same way. In the strictest sense of the pandemic, we know older populations and those with underlying conditions represent a higher health risk. Minorities (defined as people who identify as African American, Black, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, Native American/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian, LGBTQ+ or people with disabilities) and women are also more likely to be affected by the outbreak in different ways and are more likely to be on the frontlines of essential services that will keep America going through this difficult time. Hispanic, Asian and Black communities, for example, represent 40% or more of the labor force in grocery stores, food services, and agriculture and food manufacturing industries. Women represent 78% of the labor force in the health care and social assistance sector.
Before these uncertain times, some minorities represented a combined purchase power of more than $4 trillion (combined Hispanic, African-American and Asian-American). However, unemployment rates are rising because of a possible recession, and minorities are expected to be hit harder.
These facts allow brands and marketers to redefine diversity and inclusion beyond just labels and boxes to check. These communities, which historically have been underrepresented and unserved, may become the faces that will save our country, proving to be essential engines of the American economy. It’s time to take action, build new bridges and embrace shopper, job and business inclusivity in order to create the healthy economy and nation we all are craving.
Contributed by: Vanessa Daly, Cultural Strategist, Integer Dallas
Image Source: Unsplash