Human Resource Development Question


Managing Diversity in 21


Century Organizations

Dane M. Partridge, Ph.D.

September 2006

Human Resource Development Question

   What skills, attitudes, or values do you think should be emphasized in programs designed to prepare managers to manage in a diverse work force?

If you were asked to develop a half-day workshop for managers, what content and activities would you include?

Management’s Idea of Perfect Diversity?

SHRM Diversity Initiative

      What is the Business Case for Diversity?

What is the Definition of Diversity?

What is the Difference Between a Diversity Initiative and an Affirmative Action Plan?

What Are the Components of a Successful Diversity Initiative?

How Should a Diversity Initiative Be Staffed & Where Should it Reside?

What Criteria Should be Considered when Selecting a Diversity Consultant?

SHRM Diversity Initiative

       What is the Value of Diversity Initiative?

What if Your Diversity Training Program is Unsuccessful?

What are Employee Networks and should they be part of our Initiative?

How can the Results of a Diversity Initiative be Measured?

What Factors May Predestine a Diversity Initiative for Failure?

How Should Opposition to a Diversity Initiative be Handled?

What are Some Strategies for Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Workforce?

Diversity Initiatives

  Diversity initiatives are about creating an inclusive climate. “There must be a place for everyone, even those whose personalities, political parties, religious practices and a host of other variables require accommodation.” “Diversity is easy when we are all alike. It is really tested when we are forced to be flexible and expand the boundaries of our inclusion.”

Diversity Initiatives

  “Inclusion, however, does not require changing your values. It is not the organization’s place to tell you how to feel or how to think, but it can legitimately expect you to work with any and all colleagues and coworkers on common tasks.” “Appreciating fellow employees for their talents and utilizing those talents in pursuit of accomplishing goals and objectives should be the focus of a diversity initiative.”  Gardenswartz and Rowe (1999)

Diversity Dimensions

 SHRM suggests diversity definitions should include:   Age Disabilities       Education Family status Marital status Religion Sexual orientation Socio-economic status

Diversity Programs

   75% of Fortune 500 organizations have diversity programs Only 36% of non-Fortune 500 orgs have diversity programs in place  Although 14% plan to start one within the year Mechanisms for measuring program impact often absent, although believed to be effective

Diversity Programs

  Forty percent of Fortune 500 companies link diversity goals to management compensation a/o performance reviews Only 16% of non-Fortune 500 companies do so…  (SHRM Survey of Diversity Programs, 1998)

Gender Diversity

  Only 10% of top jobs at largest U.S. companies held by women; only 2.4% of very top managers Why do orgs want more women in top jobs?

 Helps bring more talent in the door, key to long term profitability   Best women will become harder to attract and retain, so orgs acting now will have edge Can serve increasingly female customers better  (Business Week, 2/17/97)

Gender Diversity

 What tactics are orgs using?

  Set goals and objectives Modify succession planning  Identify top female/minority candidates, provide opportunities to acquire necessary experience   Pay for diversity management performance Diversity training  E.g., male/female differences in leadership styles  (Business Week, 2/17/97)

Diversity Training Checklist

    Is top management leading the diversity effort?

Are diversity issues fully integrated with corporate strategic plans?

Is participation in diversity training mandatory and inclusive across all levels?

Is the training comprehensive?

Training Checklist (cont.)

   Are the facilitators respectful of all participants?

Do facilitators conduct thorough post-training evaluations? Are multiple indicators of training effectiveness used?

Does the organization recognize and reward progress toward diversity objectives?  (Rynes and Rosen, 1994)

Examples of “white privilege”

   I can, if I wish, arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time I can go shopping alone, fairly well assured that I will not be followed or harassed by store detectives I can turn on television and see people of my race widely and positively represented

Examples of “white privilege”

    I can perform well in challenging situations without being called a credit to my race I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group If a traffic cop pulls me over, I can be sure I have not been singled out because of my race I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having my co-workers suspect that I got it because of my race  (McIntosh, 1986, in Digh, 1998)


  Research indicates that in many cases minorities are groups


likely than whites to harbor prejudices against other minority Training programs may need to become more sophisticated in addressing employees’ negative stereotypes or other ethnic groups


 Research indicates that working w/ individuals who differ in age, gender, or race is


related to org commitment (at least for white males); differences in race had greatest impact  (Issues in HR, 1994)

Diversity Management Dilemma

 How to ensure a diverse work force without antagonizing white males, whose support is critical for change, and how to reverse historical discrimination without creating new forms of discrimination?  (“White, Male, and Worried,” Business Week, 1/31/94)

A Cautionary Note…

   Recent research suggests that having a diverse workforce does little to improve a Co’s business performance or bottom line Diversity education programs have little impact on performance   Don’t give people skills needed Need training to deal with group process issues, communicating and problem-solving in diverse teams Hard metrics for measuring performance results or return on diversity spending are in very short supply  Generally more success in dealing with gender issues than racial/ethnic issues  Source: Workforce, April 2003