I know that diversity has been a big topic of conversation ever since the early 1990s when research supported the demographics that by the year 2000, 85% of the entering workforce would be female, African-American, Asian-American, Latino, or new immigrants. The fact that white males would be a minority entering the workplace was a wake up call for corporate America.
How have we done sine then? I suggest that there has been definite improvement in the area of hiring but it seems that once women and minorities are hired, there are informal, relatively unconscious systems in place that prevent advancement of the minority worker or women, even today.
If there is to be a true advancement in the area of valuing diversity, then the system must be revised so that there truly is equal opportunity for advancement for everyone, including the white male. I am not advocating for a system that promotes workers who are incompetent to meet some type of quote system.
What I am suggesting is that management begins to closely examine the formal and informal systems that are in place that prevent advancement by women and minorities. Of course this is a monumental task and many would like to believe that it is unnecessary---that there is no problem here. That is part of the problem. On the surface, it seems that things or improving, however, under close scrutiny there are many flaws.
Why would a company make a commitment to this self-introspection? Wouldn't it make things worse before they got better? The answer to the second question is quite possibly yes. The answer to the first question is bottom line dollars and cents, as well as the fact that it is the humanitarian thing to do.
America is a multicultural nation that is becoming more multicultural daily. That is a reality. Unless a company intends to market and sell to only mainstream America, the contributions of minorities and women in the workplace are invaluable. This does not even begin to touch on the advantages of diversity for the global market!
Addressing the diversity issue is a three-part one. The first step is what I call Awareness. This is a time for individual self-reflection for each member of the workforce. There are many skilled training programs available that are designed to raise the awareness of the individual. If this step is missed, then taking the next two steps will be ineffective.
Individuals must develop a certain amount of empathy and understanding for the experience of being a minority in the country. With this empathy and understanding, a new motivation will develop to learn more and to be in tune with the needs of female and minority workers on the job. Even those who believe that they are aware and knowledgeable will be surprised at how much they really don't know.
The second step involves honoring, respecting and valuing the diversity of each individual. Diversity is so much more than race and ethnicity. It has been defined as a total way of life and is learned. Take a white person and have him raised by African-American parents, and his culture will be that of African-American. Conversely, a black child raised by Caucasian parents will have a Caucasian culture.
When difference is truly honored, respected and valued, no longer are people concerned about who is right and who is wrong. There is a place for everything and no one is wrong. What works best in one situation may not work best in another. Everyone's opinion is valued. Instead of shutting down when differing views are expressed, the new paradigm is to listen for the wisdom in the difference and the means to incorporate it into the way things are currently done for the good of all.
The final, and perhaps the most difficult, stage is to examine the systems that are already in place. One of the systems that has continually been blamed is that to get along in the world of work, women and minorities need to "act" like white males. It is this acculturation that will currently get a person ahead.
This is fine in the short run for the company, however, in the long run, when embracing difference, having workers who are comfortable with their own culture and can bring with them the advantages and benefits from that culture into the workplace is invaluable. Also, setting it up so minorities and females realize that they must acculturate on the job is not a good thing for the worker. People want to be their authentic selves in all situations and why shouldn't they be permitted to be that unless it interferes with the quality of the products or services produced?
There are several other systems in place of which most in management are completely unaware. It generally takes a consultant from outside the system to come in and do a complete analysis of what is working and what is not. Once the areas for improvement have been identified, then the real work begins!
There are some companies in America who have been working on workplace diversity for years and are still striving for higher levels. To truly be committed to the process is probably a lifetime commitment. Diversity appreciation is more of a journey than a destination.
To learn about diversity, visit www.CoachingforExcellence.biz and check our events calendar for upcoming teleclasses, chats and workshops or you may email Kim at Kim@CoachingforExcellence.biz or phone 708-957-6047. Coaching for Excellence provides training, consulting and individual coaching in the area of diversity. Choice Theory is the theory underlying all the work we do. Get started today. You don't want to be the company that didn't attend to the diversity issue and be left behind in the marketplace.
Kim Olver has an undergraduate degree in psychology, a graduate degree in counseling, is a National Certified Counselor and is a licensed professional counselor. Since 1987, Kim has extensively studied the work of Dr. William Glasser's Choice Theory, Reality Therapy and Lead Management. She was certified in Reality Therapy in 1992 and continued her studies to become a certified instructor for the William Glasser Institute. She is an expert at empowering people to navigate the sometimes difficult course of life---teaching them how to get the most out of the circumstances life provides them. She offers free chats, assessments, a blog and an eZine, as well as workshops, teleclasses, e-courses, counseling and coaching.
Visit her website at http://www.CoachingforExcellence.biz or contact her at (708) 957-6047.
What is a Ponzi Scheme?
This is for those who don't believe me when I talk about the dangers of "mystery money" schemes.
MacDonalidisation: Braverman, Taylor & Mayo
Background:George Ritzer defined McDonaldization as "...the process by which the principles of the fast-food restaurants are coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society as well as the rest of the world."
Tales from the Corporate Frontlines: Diversity And Success, In The Workplace
This article relates to the Diversity in the Workplace Competency, commonly evaluated in employee satisfaction surveys. This competency explores whether your organization provides understanding and supports interaction among diverse population groups while respecting individuals' personal values and ideas. Research shows that by fostering a climate where equity and mutual respect are intrinsic, an organization can create a success-oriented, cooperative and caring work environment that draws intellectual strength and produces innovative solutions from the synergy of its people.
Better Business Boundaries
To get a new client, we might be inclined to make concessions no matter what the cost: offer a second or extra long sample session; reduce fees; set session times we don't want to work. We might leap at any opportunity before looking at the possible return on investment of time. These situations end up being lessons learned, sometimes painful ones.
Business Ethics: Functional Choices
Years of experience have taught me there is no such thing as "Business Ethics". If a person isn't ethical in the rest of their lives, their business ethics aren't worth the shoe leather they've worn out either.
Mind Your Own Damn Business Sexcess
You have certainly heard the expression "mind your own damn business" used in a multitude of contexts. The most typical being the don't kiss and tell type statements, often uttered by responsibly private individuals about their love life.
Ethics? How To Take the Measure Business
When asked to write a small piece pertaining to ethics and integrity in the business world, my first inclination was to draw on personal experience.
Laws and Ethics?. Who?s Kidding Who?
Years ago I read an article by a renowned psychologist wherein he wrote his studies found one percent of all human beings would never lie, cheat or steal. One percent would always lie, cheat or steal and given the right set of circumstances, the rest of us would likely lie, cheat and/or steal.
The Views of Karl Marx VS Max Weber
Compare and contrast the views of Karl Marx and Max Weber with regards as to what motivates people to work.
Work Ethics ? A Paradigm Shift
Work ethics is a hot topic in today's business and educational worlds. Yet, how do we define this hybrid phrase with the word work meaning more than a specific outcome and the word ethics being more than the values that enhance that outcome?
Is Your Management Style Lead By Intimidation?
So many women make the mistake of thinking that they have to be these big mean diva bosses, to get respect and cooperation from their staff and colleagues. They walk around the office huffing and puffing, never showing satisfaction at the work their staff does. They rarely praise their subordinates or colleagues work and they try to make them work all hours of the night. These women mottos are "If I can stay here all night, so can you!" One boss I had in particular, her motto was "I don't get high-blood pressure, I give it.! She was proud of this and she caused some of her staff to be stressed out with high-blood pressure. She was later fired!
Tales from the Corporate Frontlines: Shifting Culture and Climate in Todays Corporate World
This articles relates to the AlphaMeasure core competency Culture and Climate. AlphaMeasure defines climate as the effect an organization has on the employees, while culture refers more to the acceptable behaviors, attitudes, and habits of the organization as a whole. Knowing and understanding workplace culture and climate leads to a better understanding of what factors are influencing employees. In relation, the level of service your customers receive is almost always influenced by the culture and climate of your organization. This competency can be especially insightful if your organization is experiencing customer service related issues or problems working together internally.
Vice of Buggery at FTC
At the Federal Trade Commission we have seen attorneys who suffer from the vice of buggery get promoted to higher and more important international divisions. Now then, are these attorneys who have personal sexual problems and are breaking the laws of sodomy not wanted in the main group of Federal Trade Commission Employees? Is the FTC worried about sexual harassment laws? Are they worried about on-the-clock Men's Restroom "Quickies" and the possibility of the need for an unflattering in-house employee investigation becoming public? Is the Federal Trade Commission afraid to fire these buggerists, for some employee unlawful termination suit? Is buggery so pervasive that the FTC has to invent new titles for these guys so they can be moved up in rank to other divisions? If so why doesn't the FTC adopt a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy" to prevent special treatment of those who suffer from buggery? Can't the FTC get psychological help for these men who thrust their penis up another man's rectum? Obviously these human organs were not set up to do that. We know that the FTC continually screw with the natural order of competition and evolutionary progress of efficient competition and survival of the fittest businesses. But why are they now trying to modify humankind's evolution?
Top 10 Principles for Positive Business Ethics
This morning, I read about a company using on-line auctions to defraud customers. Last week, I consulted on an ethics complaint where a business coach betrayed a client's confidentiality. And, recently a Physician was convicted of insider trading based on information from a patient, a violation of both business ethics and her professional ethics.
There is much talk today about ethics in business - as there should be, but there should be more than talk; there should be a high moral code for all executives who are responsible to both their customers and their shareholders.
Financial Projections in Business Plans
One of the most difficult sections to write in a business plan is the proforma and financial sections. After all it is most difficult to what exact costs you will incur or what level of sales volumes are actually achievable. So often businesses are faced with excess government controls at all levels which take thousands of dollars in fees, additionally legal fees, delays and lawsuits often ensue and slow the project. You cannot know in advance what roadblocks or brick walls city planners, country agencies or Federal Regulators will come up with, as they often change their minds and add new laws in the middle of your already delayed project. These are only a few of the problems facing entrepreneurs when writing financial projections. Other issues occur from an over enthusiastic entrepreneurial positive attitude and business plan writers should double the money needed and triple the time to complete the project to be on a reality based plain. Thus if you beat your projections everyone is happy. Including bankers, investors and yourself. If folks are not happy you may find yourself in court defending yourself and making excuses, many of which many not be your fault, but in the end you are hung out to dry as the buck stops with you.
Conflict: Not Necessarily a Bad Thing
I got yelled at tonight. Not the type of yelling that someone does when you've done something to tick someone off, but the kind of yelling that was a swift kick in the pants about something that I'm NOT doing.
Brain Development and Due Process
The Need to Survive; A Death Knell For Organizations
Changing the driving force upon which business decisions are based is crucial in order to not only restore ethics in business but to truly improve the lives of those whom they were meant to benefit: executives, employees and consumers. After all, weren't business activities meant to improve the state of existence of human beings on this planet?
How To Detect Liars In Your Business & Personal Life
We live in a world full of lies and deception. Most of us (or all of us?) lied or were forced to do so, in a small or larger scale, because of some circumstances. Unfortunately, some individuals use to prevaricate or lie deliberately. They use to do it frequently in every aspect of their life.
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