President POV

Workforce Diversity the Key to San Antonio’s Future
by Jenna Saucedo-Herrera

U.S. midterm elections ushered in a wave of diversity for state and federal politics. The U.S. is welcoming more women to Congress than ever before and in San Antonio, it’s affirmation of what we already know to be true: diversity makes the pivotal difference.

Former head of the U.S. Census Bureau Stephen Murdoch once said, ‘if you want to see what the future will look like in the U.S., look to San Antonio.’ Demographically, our community represents the future face of our state and country. It’s that diverse workforce of the future that will continue attracting significant investment from companies like EY, USAA, BD, and OKIN BPS.

In San Antonio, about 38% of our population is bilingual, speaking English and Spanish. Our community is over 60% Hispanic or Latino, representing the future demographics of the U.S. and the confluence of U.S. and Hispanic culture. And in leadership roles, we see a breadth of demographic and gender diversity at the highest levels, with the roles of San Antonio City Manager, CEO of the largest municipally owned electric and gas utility, President of Texas A&M San Antonio and CEO of Visit San Antonio all being held by women leaders.

We’ve heard from organizations large and small, local and international: San Antonio’s workforce makes the difference. Take OKIN BPS’s recent decision to establish their U.S. headquarters in San Antonio. OKIN is nearly doubling its organizational workforce by launching their new U.S. headquarters in San Antonio that will employ over 1,500 people, over 5,600 miles from their headquarters in Prague, Czech Republic. Confidence in San Antonio’s workforce was a driving factor in their decision.

Workforce continues to be the top priority for companies across the globe searching for the location of their next investment. Amazon solidified that when they elected to divide HQ2 between two east coast cities in order to attract the talent needed to support their 50,000 job expansion. Beyond the ability to attract top talent, fostering an environment where a diverse talent pool can grow and succeed is the next differentiator for U.S. cities.

U.S. companies in the top-quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 21% more likely to outperform on profitability in 2017. Companies in the top-quartile for ethnic/cultural diversity on executive teams were 33% more likely to have industry-leading profitability.* Forward thinking companies looking to cities for their next investment can see the potential for profit in San Antonio’s workforce of the future.

As San Antonio continues to grow towards doubling its population by 2040, ingrained in our DNA is our demographic and cultural diversity, and the ability to collaborate across sectors and groups. With continued focus on growing not only a strong skilled workforce, but a diverse one as well, San Antonio will achieve its economically healthy and prosperous future.

*Delivering through Diversity, McKinsey&Company, January 2018