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  • Major League Baseball’s Strategic Approach To Diversity

    Baseball understands what corporate America typically doesn’t. Diversity is a strategic advantage.

    Upstart: Gamechangers

    The players battling for Major League Baseball‘s coveted pennants this month represent a microcosm of America. More than 40% of the league’s players are people of color, and most of those are people of Latin descent, according to data in the annual Lapchick Racial and Gender Report Card. Another 9% are African-American, and two of the original eight playoff teams, or 25%, have black managers.

    Laudable stuff, when you compare it to corporate America. Minorities represent about 34% of the nation’s private sector employees, but they make up just 14% of the directors on Fortune 500 corporate boards and 10% of top executives, according to a recent survey by U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ).

    Baseball understands what corporate America typically doesn’t. Diversity in business is a strategic advantage. That’s why even beyond the field of play, Major League Baseball (as well as the NFL and NBA, for that matter) is proving a model for inclusion. In baseball, five people of color, or 17%, lead teams as general managers — the people who make all of the important personnel and financial baseball decisions for a major league squad.

    The percentage of people of color holding professional administrative positions is 31%, and women hold 46% of professional administrative jobs, which are not support staff, but managers, coordinators and supervisors in areas such as marketing and promotions. “Sports like baseball have caught up and surpassed corporate America,” Dr. Richard Lapchick, who leads the report card effort, told me. “Sports has set a standard and will continue to do that.”

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