Women and other long-underrepresented groups are speaking out, fiercely advocating for diversity and inclusion, and effecting change in Austin and the U.S.
By Gianni Zorrilla, Illustration by Jessica Wetterer
While there’s certainly more room for improvement, our country’s elected officials have become increasingly diverse in the past couple decades. Between 1996 to 2010, the number of elected Latina officials in the U.S. increased by a remarkable 105 percent, totaling 1,858. And according to the Naleo Educational Fund, which works to engage Latino participation in the American political process, as of 2017, there were 2,401 Latinas serving in elected office, representing 36 percent of the total number of elected Latina officials nationwide.
For every 100 men promoted to or hired for a managerial work position, only 72 women are promoted or hired. Currently, 62 percent of management-level jobs are held by men, compared with 38 percent of these jobs held by women. And the disparity grows with each rung of the corporate ladder. However, according to Women in the Workplace, the largest study of the state of women in corporate America, an additional 1 million women could land management roles in the U.S.—and do so in the next five years—if women were hired and promoted at the same rates as their male colleagues.
It’s been a good few years for LGBTQ media representation. A report from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation found that 18.2 percent of films released by major studios in 2018 included characters that were gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and/or queer. This translates to 20 of 110 major-studio releases and represents the second-highest percentage of inclusive films in the seven-year span of the report.
3 Women Founders
The Austin Diversity & Inclusion Project was founded in 2017 by three Austin women working in the tech industry. The mission was simple: Provide leaders and emerging leaders the resources needed to promote diversity while also championing a widespread culture of inclusion in business and throughout Austin. The organization focuses its grassroots efforts on increasing awareness about such concerns as pay equity and creating more mother-friendly workplaces.
483 Certified Diversity Pros
Founded in 2004, the Texas Diversity Council aims to be the premier resource for diversity best practices and leadership development in the Lone Star State. The council fosters pro-diversity learning environments in businesses while helping promote growth. TXDC is part of the National Diversity Council, which launched its DiversityFirst Certification Program in 2015 with the goal of teaching leaders how to foster diversity and inclusion in the workplace. To date, the program has graduated 483 professionals throughout the country, including from Texas.