The Power, Possibility, and Payoff Of Labor Force Diversity

Author and nonprofit CEO Lauren Leader-Chivee discussed the challenges and importance of diversity in the workplace, and why it's so critical to the future of the country.

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Most Americans have very little experience understanding someone different than them. But the United States won't be prepared for the future if schools don’t teach us how to understand one another, Chivee said. Putting children together and growing up in diverse environments helps all students do better.

"The research shows that all students do better -- the white students perform academically better when they are in a diverse classroom because diversity challenges them and helps them to think better," she said. "It's a disservice to a kid to be in homogenous environments -- they don’t learn as much," she said.

The evidence is in the fact that the peak of school integration occurred in 1998, and that generation -- also known as "Gen Y," has the smallest divide in attitudes on race, particularly between Democrats and Republicans, according to Chivee.

"We are unprepared for the future if we're unable to understand each other, and if our schools don't teach us how to learn from one another," she said.

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