Editor’s note: Fernando Agudelo is an account executive in the corporate affairs practice at marketing and advertising firm Edelman, Chicago. This is an edited version of a post that originally appeared under the title, “A Latino-majority workforce awaits us.” 

In the next few years, Latinos will comprise 40 percent of the growth in the U.S. workforce, according to HIS, presenting businesses and government alike with enormous opportunities and new challenges.

A growing number of companies recognize they must adapt to this rapidly growing demographic and create more diverse workforces. At Edelman, for instance, the racial and ethnic diversity of the U.S. staff increased to 26 percent from 24 percent in less than a year as a result of focused recruitment and retention efforts, according to Russell Dubner, president and CEO of Edelman U.S.

Edelman is on track to achieve its goal of 30 percent racial and ethnic diversity in five years with the creation of employee networks such as Inclusivo, Edelman’s Latino resource group. As a founding member and co-leader of Inclusivo’s Chicago chapter, I recently participated in the fall 2018 Leadership Academy presented by the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE), thanks to Edelman’s sponsorship. It underscores the agency’s commitment to nurturing professional growth in diverse employees.

The 10-week leadership development program addressed the unique cultural values and challenges for Latino professionals, and it explored several leadership elements, including meeting and conflict management; strategic planning and communication; presentation skills; and trust-building. Participants ranged from junior to executive levels at a wide range of companies spanning finance, insurance, travel, retail and other industries.

How do culturally diverse backgrounds impact how we approach conflict? Often, we have the most difficulty understanding an...