The harsh reality of diversity programs
Damned if you do, damned if you don't
White males see diversity's other side
The Downside of Diversity
Communication is the key to cross-cultural success


The impact of diversity is still greatly misunderstood, we fail to see how it might be leveraged for organizational effectiveness and success. We cannot ignore the reality that people of all ages, sexes, nationalities, and cultures are increasingly networked.

Managing diversity is not just a social, moral or conscience issue, there is also profit justification from promoting diversity.  Diversity training must always show how to improve productivity and the impact on the bottom-line.  Consider all the failed marketing attempts, destroyed relationships, conflicts, lost talent, and misunderstanding that have resulted from not understanding or appreciating diversity.

Industry is realizing that successful businesses will anticipate and capitalize on the swiftly rising proportion of minority, immigrant, female and older workers.  In addition, firms are beginning to capitalize on the talents of the disabled.  Much of the growth of the Managing Diversity industry, however, is being fueled by the fear of lawsuits or mandatory 'diversity sensitivity training' doled out by judges.


How can you prove to an organization that they need diversity training?

  • Show demographic forecasts (5, 10, 20 years out) showing population changes
  • Relate these changes to the company's current and future customers
  • Based on demographic forecasts, show who their workers will be in 5, 10, 15 years out
  • Show (by examples)  how other organizations have penetrated previously untapped or underrepresented markets
  • Demonstrate how will the organization is poised to capitalizes on these new opportunities
  • What are the benefits of diversity?
    1) Increased market share, revenue, income and profits through increased customers 2) More productive workers  - 3) Avoid costly legal battles – simplest way is to hire and promote more of whichever groups your are in danger of offending.  However, this can cause a ‘backlash’ of discriminatory practice and result in increased discrimination lawsuits.
    Typical ways to diversify the workforce


    EEOC has guidelines that state companies cannot establish an affirmative action program to sanction the discriminatory treatment of ANY group of people (including white males).   If there is substantial imbalance than you can correct it but make sure you have the OBJECTIVE statistics to prove it

    Quotas: recruiting by the numbers could worsen the problem by:

  • channeling people into wrong jobs
  • discriminating against others
  • Reverse career pathing-  chart out how individuals got to the top.  Are the white males sealing deals on the golf course?  One woman  at a San Francisco company said members of a certain demographic group were racing past her in promotions.  By devising a reverse career path she found out that they all, unlike her, had attended Stanford University, just like the top executives.

    Backlash will lead to:
    1) a talent drain 2) reverse discrimination lawsuits -suits filed by men for wrongful discharge and failure to promote are rising


    The Character of a Multicultural, Inclusive Organization