We have just recently undergone a decisive election era in which some
very strong views have been expressed. Some of those comments made me
take a moment and reflect on the status of diversity within this country
and the workplace in particular.
One of the facts that became
abundantly clear is that there is a dramatic change in the demographics
of the society in which we live. Change is tough but when the majority
suddenly finds itself in the minority it raises a wide range of
responses. And this is where the Diversity Scam arises.
Let me lay
some ground work before discussing my reasoning. We find ourselves in a
rapidly changing business space. An organization only succeeds when it
can meet two very interdependent factors The first is that we only
succeed when we are competitive within the market. We constantly need to
be aware and cognizant of the needs of our customers.Th other side of
the coin is we must be innovative with what we offer to the marketplace.
With the changing demographic we need to be open to the inclusion of a
wide variety of ideas and backgrounds with the hiring of human capital
assets. The problem seems to be , from my conversations with fellow HR
professionals, that many of the members of the changing demographic seem
to want to move to their organizations and organizations. Why?
management tiers of our organizations have traditionally been occupied
by white male members of our society. With this they have very set ways
as to the methods that organizations should operate under. That
philosophy is being challenged. The establishment is uncomfortable with
what thi means for the future of their workplace.
The message from
our customers and society is that diversity in the workplace is a
necessity. So in order to appear as though we are part of the current
global environment , the message is that all of our communications
pieces from the recruiting brochure to the annual report sate that
diversity is a key component of our strategy. But look at the
organization as a whole and what do you find?
While there are many
exceptional examples of organizations which walk the walk and talk the
talk. The far greater numbers extend the message through the
communication devices but never intend to follow through on it unless
they are forced to jump through the hoops of the EEO-1 form. Instead
what diversity is found within the organizations is restricted to the
low paying lower levels of the organization. Restricted at the lower
levels where what diversity does exist can be pushed off into back
corner of the organization. These human capital assets are not exposed
to the tools to move up the corporate ladder to reach that corner
The difficulty is that with "those people" now becoming
the majority in the workplace, just talking the talk will not make the
organization more sustainable. In fact it will make the organization
less likely to succeed. Like most scams, the perpetrators eventually get
caught and it comes back to haunt.
As we reach the Thanksgiving
holiday season and the opening of the run to the end of year, we as
organizational management need to re-assess our views and our
initiatives. We need to understand and accept that the inclusion of the
new normal demographics makes the diversity scam totally unacceptable in
It is time that organizational management come
to recognize that they need to change their views of the workplace.
First, this is not your father's company anymore. The demographics of
the global workplace have changed and it will not survive with a less
than true message. Second, the new generational workers are much more
comfortable in an open society whether it is life or work and they will
force you in the direction of full diversity And finally as a member of
your organization's management team your goal is to protect the ability
of the organization to survive into eternity. We can not do that if we
purposely forget about a large percentage of the society within which we
So stop for a moment and really analyze are you both
talking the talk and walking the walk in regards to diversity. Tell me
whether your organization is part of the scam or really believes in the
inclusion of a wide range of views and attitudes represented by the changed demographics within your portals.