Monday, November 14, 2005

Workplace Diversity

Today's Wall Street Journal contains a special section on workplace diversity.  A series of well-written articles presents workplace diversity as a "business imperative" and describes the ways that companies can respond.

The New Diversity, by Carol Hymowitz, points out that "[i]f companies are going to sell products and services globally, they will need a rich mix of employees with varied perspectives and experiences. They will need top executives who understand different countries and cultures. They will need executives around the world who intuitively understand the markets they are trying to penetrate."

Back to Class, by Laura Egodigwe, describes modern trends in diversity training.  Today's training, she says, focuses on religious differences, globalization, 'microinequities' (small slights and unconscious behaviors that can add up to exclusion), work-life balance, expansion of age/generational issues (baby boomers, gen X and gen Y), and spirituality."

Moving Ahead ... But Slowly, by Joi Preciphs, profiles how racial minorities are faring in corporate America.  She examines the percentage of managerial and professional jobs held by African-Americans, whites, Hispanics, Asian/Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans.  The percentage held by minorities is increasing, but slowly, and except for Asian/Pacific Islanders, is nowhere near their percentage of the total workforce.

Beyond the Numbers, by Amy Chozick, interviews R. Roosevelt Thomas Jr., who argues that the real challenge for employers isn't just hiring -- it's making the most of a varied workforce.

A Helping Hand, by Melanie Trottman, describes the obligations many successful minorites feel to mentor junior minority colleagues -- and the challenges the mentors face in doing so.

A Special Effort discusses the ways that Starbucks has attempted to reach out to persons with disabilities, both as customers and as employees.

Then and Now, by Steven Gray, examines the ways that opportunities have changed for minority and female business school graduates from 1980 and 2005.

Delayed Recognition describes how Arab-Americans have begun to advance their rights as a minority since 9/11.

Dig In, by Jim Carlton, explains that Google has diversified the menu selections at its company cafeteria as a way of catering to its many immigrant employees.

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