Diversity Fast Facts As 2002 draws to a close, take a minute to reflect on your organization’s diversity, its policies toward an inclusive workplace, and what you can do to create an accepting environment. Use these fast facts about diversity to help you gage your progress and identify areas for improvement.
1. Three in 10 people in this country identifies themselves as non-whites. (Census 2000)
Is this diversity reflected in your organization?
2. Hispanics/Latinos became the largest minority group in 16 metro areas in the 1990s. 14 percent of this group holds positions in managerial or professional occupations, compared with 33% of non-Hispanic Whites. (Census 2000)
Does your organization have a marketing program that includes this group? Do you have programs in your organization to help advance Hispanics/Latinos to managerial and professional positions?
3. Women who are dissatisfied with their jobs are three times as likely as those who are satisfied to mention lack of respect as the biggest problem facing women at work. (AFL-CIO)
How is respect communicated in your organization? Does your organization have effective cross-gender communication? Do your co-workers agree?
4. Approximately 10% of the general population is gay/lesbian. (Greenfield Research & Kinsey Report)
Are your organization’s policies still only oriented toward married couples of the opposite sex? Do you know how to create policies that are more friendly towards diverse families?
5. During this decade, 85% of new workers will be women, non-whites, and immigrants. (WorkingWomanNetwork)
Does your organization have strong hiring and retention strategies for this diverse group of potential employees? How will you capture this talent pool?
Simma Lieberman Associates can help your organization answer these questions through cultural audits, strategic planning, and trainings and workshops. Plan to make a difference in your organization in 2003!
Make a Difference in 2003!
The New Year brings new opportunities to create an inclusive environment. Here are a few tips on what you can do to support diversity in your life and work:
1. LEARN ABOUT OTHER COMPANIES. Research what their diversity practices are. Don’t limit yourself to companies in your industry: innovative and effective strategies may come from many different types of companies. Compare these diversity practices with your companies’ diversity initiatives, and see where there is room for improvement.
2. TAKE AN INTEREST IN OTHERS. Listen to what someone different from you has to say about their life and work. Ask questions about their experiences relative to their race, ethnicity, age, work background, or nationality. While they don’t represent every person of their culture, they can present a fresh, enlightening perspective.
3. GET DIVERSE FEEDBACK. Whether it’s a routine meeting or a complicated problem, seek out feedback from diverse people. Talk to someone you normally wouldn’t approach and be open to their ideas. Diverse people have different ways of thinking that can create powerful and innovative solutions.
4. LEARN THROUGH MUSIC. Listen and try to understand music from other cultures and generations (i.e. hip-hop, classical, rap, opera, world music, rock, latin, jazz, blues, gospel). Music teaches us about values and interests of different groups.
Getting Back to Work After the Holidays
When the festivities settle down, you’ve got to get back to work and back up to speed. Follow these tips from Simma to keep your stress down and energy up:
1. SET *REALISTIC* GOALS FOR THE YEAR. If your goals are long-term and in-depth, identify the small steps that will move you toward your goal. Make a point of completing one of these small steps each week.
2. PRIORITIZE YOUR TO DO LIST. Focus on the items that are most pressing first, and don’t move on until you’ve got them taken care of. Your flooded email box can wait if you’ve got a deadline to make.
3. SPRING CLEAN IN JANUARY. Clean up your files, your inbox, your desk area. Start off the year organized, and you’ll feel ahead of the game.
4. TAKE PRECAUTIONS. Change your passwords, update your antivirus software, and automatically dump unknown mail from your inbox. You’ll thank yourself as you hear stories about the latest worm and virus that haven’t affected you.
5. SCHEDULE A DAILY MEETING WITH THE TREADMILL. Exercise combats stress, depression, and keeps you healthy. Schedule time for an exercise you enjoy, and like any other meeting, don’t let other engagements infringe on your workout time.