Airport_Business_November_2020 - 12

DIVERSITY
AUTHOR Eric Mercado

HOW COLOR BIASES
CONTRIBUTE TO THE LACK OF

DIVERSITY
IN AVIATION

MOST PEOPLE are afraid to tackle a topic like this,
especially in today's world. In fact, in the current
environment of Black and Brown Lives Matter, it's
important that organizations in our airport and
aviation industry come out in support of their
mission.
At ACS Firm, we have supported
all groups of people for the last 10 years
and continue to do so, inclusive of the
Black and Brown Lives Matter groups.
I make this important stand because for

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ERIC MERCARDO

Eric Mercardo founded ACS to offer an
improved service experience for the
industry. He leads the firms service lines
of Assessments, Adult Learning, Diverse
Recruiting and Outplacement Services.
Celebrating 10 years in business, ACS is
"Elevating the Industry!"

us, the issue of color bias toward People
of Color (PoC) is not one that can be
overlooked. The biases I'm about to
discuss have been key contributors to
the lack of diversity in leadership in the
aviation industry as a whole.
Why do I say there is a lack of
diversity? Because there is. According
to the July 2019 statistics with the U.S.
Census Bureau, the U.S. population
amounted to 60.1 percent identifying
as White and 42.1 percent identifying
as People of Color. That said, one would
think that there would be at least 30-40
percent of PoC in leadership roles across
the U.S. Airports. Unfortunately, that's

12 \ AIRPORTBUSINESS / NOVEMBER 2020

not the case. For the purpose of this
article, we at ACS took a sampling of
100 airports across the country and
identified no more than 21 CEO level
positions with a person of color in the
role. Taking those 21 executives, or 21
percent of the 100 airports, it is far from
aligning with the U.S. Census Bureau
numbers. In fact, it demonstrates that
there's a true lack of PoC in leadership
roles. If we were to examine the top 500
airports, the results would amount to a
smaller percentage than 21 percent of
PoC in airport leadership roles. That's
the reality we face at present and it's in
large part to Color Biases.
As we talk about this topic, let's start
at the beginning. What does diversity
in people mean? Diversity as a whole
has been an evolving topic. Years ago,
in the airport and aviation industry, it
was largely a focus on People of Color;
that is PoC began to be recognized by
their White counter parts in the airport



Airport_Business_November_2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Airport_Business_November_2020

Inside the Fence
Industry Update
A Smart Approach to Customer Wellness
Totally Boggus
How Color Biases Contribute to a Lack of Diversity in Aviation
Product Profile
40 Under 40
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 1
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 2
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 3
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 4
Airport_Business_November_2020 - Inside the Fence
Airport_Business_November_2020 - Industry Update
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 7
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 8
Airport_Business_November_2020 - A Smart Approach to Customer Wellness
Airport_Business_November_2020 - Totally Boggus
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 11
Airport_Business_November_2020 - How Color Biases Contribute to a Lack of Diversity in Aviation
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 13
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 14
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 15
Airport_Business_November_2020 - Product Profile
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 17
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 40 Under 40
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