February is Black History month, an annual observance in which the US celebrates the contributions and achievements of generations of African-Americans. These ancestral figures’ efforts towards equality and opportunity have helped to shape the nation.
As with all things related to Black History, recognition of Black History Month didn’t come easily.
After years of rallying for equal rights in all aspects, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination in public places, provided for the integration of schools and other public facilities, and made employment discrimination illegal. While that was an important step forward, recognition wasn’t automatic.
In the early decades of the 20th Century, Carter G. Woodson, PhD. (Harvard), a renowned American historian, author, journalist, and founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), campaigned for national recognition of Black History. Through his efforts, he grew in fame to become known as “The father of Black History,”. In 1976, Dr. Woodson who died in 1950, was posthumously recognized by President Gerald Ford during a speech honoring Black History Month in 1976, the Bicentennial year of our country’s Independence, when he said, “Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History. We are grateful to him today for his initiative, and we are richer for the work of his organization. Freedom and the recognition of individual rights are what our Revolution was all about.”
However, it wasn’t until Congress passed "National Black History Month" into law in 1986 that many in the country began to observe the holiday.
Diversity in the Automotive Industry
Today's automotive workforce is more diverse, but many argue it is not enough. In the industry, companies depend on attracting and retaining new talent. This means that we are responsible for ensuring that our workforce reflects the society we operate in. Yes, there is no doubt that we are facing a talent shortage. But in a $400 billion industry, we must be on the lookout for diverse and qualified workers to fill the open spots.
According to Automotive News, “This industry was built by the innovation and grit of immigrants, by minorities who came from the South and other places looking for a new opportunity, and by men and women who were born and grew up in Michigan. It is time we remember our roots and understand that this inflection point can lead us to a bright future if we work collectively on systematic change.”
Diversity should not be a trend but a necessity. Millennials and Generation Zers are forcing the industry to change – they know what they want. We are seeing a new generation of employees seeking purpose at work, and more consumers evaluating brands on their commitment to social issues. According to Edelman Trust Barometer 2021, on average, 79% of employees expect their employer to take action on one or more activities, including; climate change (81%) and Racism (79%). As our workforce diversifies, our employees are expecting more from their employers!
At Yazaki North America, we are committed to working diligently to foster an environment that prioritizes diversity and growth. We look for talented individuals who can contribute their knowledge and expertise; who can offer new ideas, concepts, and viewpoints; who are innovative, engaged, and committed.
We look beyond the superficial to what matters: intelligence, integrity, commitment, and desire.
We seek individuals of all backgrounds who gladly subscribe to our company’s vision to be “A Corporation in Step with the World” and “A Corporation Needed by Society.”