At Equity Summit 2023, our President & CEO, Gary A. Officer, delivered a compelling opening speech addressing the complexities of the nation’s labor economy. He urged a shift from correlation to causation in understanding the challenges faced by vulnerable segments of the workforce, emphasizing those aging into vulnerability, underrepresentation in corporate leadership, and a disproportionate likelihood of unemployment. He stressed the commitment to speaking truth to workforce injustice, drawing from the experiences of the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), which brings the team into close proximity with communities facing unique challenges as they age.
Mr. Officer highlighted the profound demographic shift, with older Americans projected to constitute the largest segment of the U.S. workforce by 2028.
Our workforce is aging, and this summit is about navigating work in the age of transformation. According to the U.S. Special Committee on Aging, Older Americans will become the largest segment of the U.S. workforce by 2028.
Paired with this, he pointed to a technological tsunami transforming the nature of work, where Goldman Sachs estimates on their report that 300 million jobs could be lost or diminished by generative AI, raising essential questions about job replacement and equitable access. The Equity Summit 2023, Mr. Officer emphasized, is a timely exploration of work in the age of workforce transformation, encapsulating the vital compact between individuals and their purpose, the measure of personal self-worth, and the means through which individuals support themselves, their families, and their communities.
Mr. Officer’s poignant call for action echoes through his words:
This summit is about equity and opportunity for individuals regardless of their age, race, gender, or sexual orientation.
His vision envisions a workforce as an inviting kaleidoscope, welcoming all, and a meritocracy coexisting within a secure environment.
Watch the full speech below: