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The Culturally Diverse Workforce   
    Photo of Don Sutaria
July/August 2013   
 
 
 
My dear friends, colleagues, clients and students:

The focus of this month's article is on America's Culturally Diverse Workforce. We hope we can provide some new insights, because, whether we like it or not, we are in this together.

Special Summer Alert!
Lest we forget, please do not slow down in your job hunt and networking during the summer months. If anything, accelerate your search! Why? Because other job hunters may have become lethargic in a slow summer mood, and temporarily dropped out of the race for two months. This gives you a statistical advantage to win or bag your trophy—a desirable job. Contrary to what the world thinks, my opinion, which bears out in practice, is this: Executives in positions with power to hire you are generally traveling less during this period. A happier and calmer summer spirit prevails, and there is a greater mood of courtesy and charity...a byproduct of warmer summer months! Managers have more time to talk with you and are relaxed. Budgets are also being prepared for the upcoming new year, which might enable them to slot you in. The seeds you sow in July and August may bear fruit in September or a little later. You may surprise yourself by being delivered a belated end-of-summer gift—a new job—in the size, style and color you always wanted!

Great News!
CAREER STIMULUS PACKAGE
(A newly revised and enlarged program from CareerQuest)

In the present economy, CareerQuest wants to do its part and make a contribution.

Effective immediately we have reduced our pricing by 50%, from $200 per hour to $100 per hour!!

Details can be seen on our website, www.CareerQuestCentral.com.

50% off on all packages as also shown on our website. New prices shown below.
  • Career Checkup and Rebalancing - $90
  • Resume Consultation - $50
  • Cover Letter Consultation - $50
  • Pre-interview Session - $50
  • Post-interview Marketing Letter Consultation - $50
  • Salary Negotiation - $50
  • Backpack to Briefcase - $50
  • Professional Career Advice - $50

DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND, THE EXPIRATION DATE FOR THIS CAREER STIMULUS PACKAGE HAS NOW BEEN EXTENDED TO SEPTEMBER 30, 2013!

The Dream Chaser Club
Do you need expert help, advice, tips, guidance, support or even a blueprint to launch your dream? Or, perhaps you’re already living your dream.

    Dream Chaser Club
Regardless of where you are in your journey, the Dream Chaser Club is the community for you! When you join the community, you will gain access to a wealth of advice, support and information from experts as well as others who have already accomplished their goals. The best part is, you’re NEVER alone...you can connect and receive support from others who are also on the same journey! Join today for FREE at dreamchaserclub.com.

I will be the featured expert on this site for career coaching, life/work balance, and career assessment/finding your mission in life.

Columbia Career Coaches Network
CareerQuest is proud to announce that Don Sutaria has been accepted as one of the career coaches for Columbia alumni. Designed to give coaching advice to alumni by alumni, the Columbia Career Coaches Network is an invaluable tool to assist alumni in moving within your industry or to strike out in a completely new direction.

Contact Lindsay Hotaling at lah2174@columbia.edu.


Book Endorsement
We thank Richard Nelson Bolles for having the confidence to mention us in What Color Is Your Parachute? for eleven years in a row!

Our book, Career and Life Counseling From the Heart (Your Career is a Pathway to Your Soul!), has received many excellent reviews. Richard Nelson Bolles, author of What Color Is Your Parachute? says:

  
Career and Life Counseling From the Heart book cover
  "Don Sutaria is one of the career counselors I most admire in the U.S. He talks about things other career counselors don't, like "your soul." Now he has written a book I like a lot, with brilliant short chapters you can digest day by day. I recommend it unreservedly to everyone."  

We are deeply grateful for his endorsement.

This book has been nicknamed as Chicken Soup for Your Career! It encapsulates at least fifty different career topics. Take a peek inside this book at Amazon.com before you decide to buy it. It is also available as an e-book from iUniverse.

Newsletters
Over the past ten years, in our newsletters, we have presented you with articles on contemporary career topics. You can find the articles from the last five years in our Newsletter Archive on our website.

Career Doctor Don's Column
Career Doctor Don Answers Your Questions appears as a regular feature in the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) - New Jersey Chapter newsletters. Visit www.ISPE.org to read more.

CareerQuest's Blog
If you have not checked out our revamped blog recently, please do so. We have some interesting things to share with you. You can find it at www.CareerQuestCentral.blogspot.com. Your feedback is always appreciated.


This international newsletter is also meant to be as a service to the career counseling community, for exchange of professional ideas. We encourage you to contribute an article or two as a guest writer; we shall be grateful.

Keep your feedback coming. We thank all of you who send in complimentary comments on the newsletter. We have responded to each and every one of you individually. Please feel free to share these newsletters with your friends, remembering to give us the due credit. Also, ask your friends to enroll for our free newsletter on our web site.

Until we meet again through the magic of email,

Peace! Love! Shalom!

Don Sutaria, MS, IE (Prof.)
Founder, President & Life-Work Coach
CareerQuest


 
  How to Get Your First Job after Graduation  
  The Latest from the CareerQuest Blog

The more things change, the more things remain the same!

Why do I say that?

The fundamentals of job search are unchanged!

What do I mean by that?




 
  How to Manage a Culturally Diverse Workforce  
  by Don Sutaria
Here's to the crazy ones.
The misfits. The rebels.
The troublemakers. The round
pegs in the square holes -- the
ones who see things differently.
They are not fond of rules and
they have no respect for
the status quo. You can praise
them, disagree with them,
quote them, disbelieve them,
glorify or vilify them,
About the only thing that you
can't do is ignore them.
Because they change things.

               -- Apple Computer ad, 1997

Prologue
No article is complete without the writer or the so-called 'pundit' giving you a mini quiz or a quick test! Why should I be any different?! Please answer these questions as honestly as you can because you are not being graded. Answers are at the end of this article.
  1. Enumerate at least six of the sixteen dimensions of diversity.

  2. Is managing diversity different from affirmative action? If your answer is yes, in what way?

  3. Do diversity and inclusion mean the same thing? If your answer is no, explain.

Exposition
By its very nature, the United States is an immigrant culture, a virtual melting pot or more accurately a stew pot, where individuals from various cultures maintain their identities. In any modern company the employees bring a rich mix of races, ethnicities, nationalities, religions and genders.

How can we gear up this diverse workforce for our success?

     
The potential benefits of this diversity are many and varied. Handled deftly, we can expect more creativity, greater innovation, better decisions, greater marketing success, and a better distribution of opportunities and wealth. If this situation is not handled properly, expect communications problems, interpersonal conflicts, hurt feelings, and high unacceptable turnover rates.

Taylor Cox, Jr., an expert in the field of organizational development and behavior, categorizes organizations into three distinct types.

In the first type, a monolithic organization, a homogeneous work force is the primary characteristic, with primarily white males and a few women and minority men in upper echelons of management.

In the plural organization, the second type, Cox suggests that it is more heterogeneous in its makeup, because it sincerely makes an attempt to include people from cultural backgrounds that are somewhat different from the dominant group.

The third group, as studied by Cox, is the multicultural organization. Its hallmark characteristics are the integration of all minorities at all levels of the company, minimal prejudice and discrimination, and truly values that diversity.

Let us examine some of the principles to effectively create and manage a multicultural diverse work force. They are very basic:
  • Need to set a good example
  • Communicate verbally and in writing
  • Training for the multicultural work force
  • Respect and recognition for individual differences
  • Feedback from minority groups
  • An equitable reward system
  • Company sponsored social events
  • Flexible work environment
  • Continuous monitoring for effectiveness
  • Celebrations for success

All of us have cultural biases. The important thing is to know what they are and prevent them from becoming barriers to selecting a culturally diverse work force. For example, we may have stereotypes of people from different groups and how well they perform on the job. Sometimes it so happens that our interpersonal relationships and communication styles may overshadow a candidate's skills and experience needed to do a particular job.
Fair vs. Same Treatment

Now comes the question of fair vs. same treatment. In the classical sense, many people feel that 'fairness' means 'treating everyone the same way' Nothing can be further from the truth! Treating everyone the same way does not work for a diverse work force. Remember when your children were growing up, their famous last words were, "It's not fair!" Perhaps you were trying to be equitable but you could not give every son or daughter exactly the same treatment at any given point in time, simply because of age, maturity, and gender differences! If I have to explain any further, you have not latched on to the concept!

In a concrete way, when your employees have limited English language skills or reading proficiency, even though that might not affect their job performance, in order to disseminate important information, complicated and overbearing memos and e-mails may not be the most effective way of communicating with them. Extra time and patience may be needed by supervisors to explain the contents of these memorandums. This would be a commendable management practice and should be encouraged.
Managing Diversity vs. Affirmative Action

Managing diversity is different from affirmative action. While managing diversity focuses on maximizing the ability of all employees to contribute to organizational goals, affirmative action focuses on specific groups because of historical discrimination, such as people of color and women. Affirmative action emphasizes legal necessity and social responsibility, but managing diversity emphasizes business necessity. In essence, while managing diversity is also concerned with under-representation of women and people of color in the workforce, it is much more inclusive and acknowledges that diversity must work for everyone.
Diversity vs. Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are not really the same. Let's examine that statement. Keith Kennedy, director of diversity at Hallmark Cards makes it very clear..."A diverse organization and an inclusive organization are not necessarily the same thing. A diverse environment has people at the decision-making table and allows them to participate." Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) statistics and metrics, although useful, do not provide an accurate measurement of cultural diversity in an organization. Most managers surround themselves with people who think like them. Many may have people of color and women reporting to them, but they think just like them. We have to ask ourselves, when recruiting or promoting people of color and women, are we really bringing in diversity, or people who just look different? It boils down to one fundamental question: are we bringing in diverse thinking? Are we acknowledging the rich cultural heritages that people bring with them to America? Are we really tapping into the talent that our current women and people of color have to offer? Are we including them and engaging their talent, knowledge and expertise? Do we allow them to propose an 'off the wall' contrary point of view and respect it?

Scoreboard
Would you like to know the 2013 top 50 companies for diversity, in descending order, based on a survey and study by the magazine DiversityInc?

1.  Sodexo 2.  Pricewaterhouse Coopers 3.  Kaiser Permanente
4.  Ernst & Young 5.  MasterCard Worldwide 6.  Novartis Pharmaceuticals
7.  Procter & Gamble 8.  Prudential Financial 9.  Accenture
10.  Johnson & Johnson 11.  Deloitte 12.  Merck & Co.
13,  AT&T 14.  Abbott 15.  Cummins
16.  Marriott International 17.  Medtronic 18.  Kraft Foods
19.  Aetna 20.  Target 21.  Colgate-Palmolive
22.  Cox Communications 23.  KPMG 24.  IBM
25.  Wells Fargo 26.  General Mills  27.  ADP
28.  Pfizer 29.  Northrop Grumman 30.  New York Life
31.  BASF 32.  Kellogg Company 33.  Time Warner
34.  Rockwell Collins 35.  Eli Lilly and Company 36.  Allstate Insurance Company
37.  Dell 38.  The Coca-Cola Company 39.  The Walt Disney Company
40.  WellPoint 41.  TIAA-CREF 42.  Monsanto
43.  TD Bank 44.  Microsoft 45.  Bristol-Myers Squibb
46.  Wyndham Worldwide 47.  Verizon Communications 48.  Toyota Motor North America
49.  Comcast 50.  JCPenney


The above 50 companies were judged on four key areas of diversity management:
  • CEO Commitment
  • Human Capital
  • Corporate and Organizational Communications
  • Supplier Diversity
International Impact
"The world is flat," as Thomas J. Friedman, a columnist for The New York Times, would say. The World Diversity Leadership Summit (WDLS) has already become the world's most high-profile gathering of senior corporate, government and non-governmental organization officials to discuss the challenges and opportunities of global diversity management. The objective is to bring together the most experienced practitioners of corporate and public sector diversity practices and share what works best.

Undoubtedly, in the climate of accelerated globalization, there is an increasing demand for diversity of perspectives and talents, and continually striving to maintain a diversified and varied work force.

Epilogue
Would you honestly like to do a self-diagnostic of diversity management in your organization? Then try answering the following questions.
  • Do you perform a sanity check on your assumptions before carrying them out?
  • Do you really believe there is more than one way 'to skin a cat?'
  • Do you have good relationships with all people under your supervision?
  • Do you understand the motivation and goals of your subordinates?
  • Are you able to give negative feedback with love and respect to someone who is culturally different from you?
  • Do you screen from a diverse pool of applicants?
  • Do you acquaint a new employee with your department's culture?
  • Do you periodically review your policies to ensure that they do not impact different groups differentially?
  • Are you willing to listen to a culturally diverse adverse feedback?
  • Have you made it clear that ethnic, sexist, racist jokes and other offensive statements are not acceptable?
  • Are you making good faith efforts to meet your affirmative action goals not just in the letter of the law but also its spirit?
  • Are you confident that assignments and opportunities for advancement are accessible to everyone?

If you were able to answer at least 80% of these questions in the affirmative, please accept my congratulations! You are on the right track and doing very well in the area of diversity management.



Answers:

1.  Age, ethnicity, ancestry, gender, physical abilities, race, sexual orientation, educational background, geographic location, income, marital status, military experience, religious beliefs, parental status, physical qualities, and work experience. (Ref. Loden & Rosener)

2.  Yes; managing diversity focuses on maximizing the ability of all employees to contribute to organizational goals but affirmative action focuses on specific groups because of historical discrimination, such as people of color and women. (Ref. HR, Univ. of California, Berkeley)

3.  No; a diverse organization and an inclusive organization are not necessarily the same thing. A diverse environment has people at the decision-making table and allows them to participate. (Ref. Keith Kennedy, Hallmark Cards)


 
 
 

Don Sutaria, also known as "Career Doctor Don", is Founder and President of CareerQuest. He has been quoted frequently in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, on radio and television and has taught at various colleges. He is the author of Career And Life Counseling From The Heart (Your Career is a Pathway to Your Soul!).


 
 
Find me on LinkedIn Don Sutaria, M.S., I.E. (Prof.)   

don@careerquestcentral.com     www.CareerQuestCentral.com     www.CareerQuestCentral.blogspot.com   
Phone: (908) 686-8400     Fax: (908) 686-8400 (on request)     Cell: (908) 377-9015   
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