DOL Offers Disabled Job Candidate Database

June 14, 2009 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

The Department of Labor (DOL) has made available to employers a free database of nearly 2,000 job candidates with disabilities seeking employment in a wide variety of fields. The Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities compiled the database by sending recruiters to college campuses across the country to interview eligible undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as recent graduates.

“Historically, people with disabilities consistently have experienced difficulties finding employment regardless of the economic climate,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “Providing an internship or first job to someone with a disability can provide a real jumpstart in launching a successful career. The Workforce Recruitment Program offers top talent while enabling college students and recent graduates the opportunity to gain invaluable work experience.”

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Categories: Agency Insight

Mr. Mom: A Personal Encounter with Stereotypes

June 14, 2009 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

Just in time for Father’s Day, employment law attorney Barbara Goodwin reflects on what are considered the “traditional” family roles and reminds employers not to make the mistake of stereotyping men and women and their caregiving responsibilities.

I’m a working mother. I had my first child about 10 days after graduating from law school and have been parenting while working ever since. My husband, on the other hand, is a full-time stay-at-home parent. We’re lucky that we’ve been able to manage to have one of us stay home with the kids, and given the timing, it just worked out best for that person to be him.

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Categories: Flashpoint

He Doesn’t Talk Like Us

June 14, 2009 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

By Charlie S. Plumb

As the diversity of our workforce expands, it isn’t unusual for companies to have employees with different cultural backgrounds. In some cases, that may mean your employees speak different languages or sometimes have difficulty communicating. Remember, however, that expressing your concern about an employee’s language capabilities can sometimes lead to an accusation of national origin or race discrimination.

Employee Encouraged to Take English Class

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Categories: Legal News

Integrate Diversity into Other Initiatives

May 17, 2009 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

Diversity consultant and founder of QUEST Diversity Initiatives LLC Natalie Holder-Winfield, wants to make something clear: “When I say ‘diverse,’ I don’t mean it as a stand-in or as another word for ‘minority.’ When I refer to a diverse workforce, I really do mean people of all different ideas, thoughts, cultures, backgrounds, and sexual orientation — that to me makes up a diverse workforce.”

The High Costs of Ignoring Diversity

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Why Minority Employees Leave Companies

May 17, 2009 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

We recently ran across a May 2008 posting from the now-defunct New York Times “Shifting Careers” blog. The topic is still relevant today — exactly a year later.

Author Marci Alboher interviewed Natalie Holder-Winfield, an employment lawyer turned diversity consultant, about her book, Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Workforce.  Alboher wrote that the book “is a well-researched and eye-opening account of why minority employees flee workplaces even when employers have so-called diversity programs in place.”

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Categories: Ideas for Leaders

Mexican Worker Warned to “Speak American” Gets Trial

May 17, 2009 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

Marcial Avila worked for Jostens, Inc., a yearbook publisher, in its Topeka, Kansas, facility from 1995 until September 2003. His duties included counting yearbooks, packing them into boxes, and printing and affixing shipping labels. He is a legal resident of the United States but was born in Mexico and spoke Spanish as his primary language.

In February 2003, Avila’s supervisor, Jim Keeffe, issued him a warning for boxing 900 calendars without drilling a top hole in them as required. A few months later, in May, Avila received another warning, this time for failing to do quality checks on a shipment, kicking boxes, and glaring at a coworker. Avila disputed the allegations in the warning, so a meeting was held with Avila, his interpreter, Keeffe, a Jostens employee relations representative, and a union rep. During the meeting, Keeffe told Avila’s interpreter to be quiet and told Avila to “speak American.”

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Categories: Legal News

May: Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

May 17, 2009 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

In 1978, a joint congressional resolution established Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. The first 10 days of May were chosen to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants (May 7, 1843) and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed on May 10, 1869. In 1992, Congress expanded the observance to a monthlong celebration. Per a 1997 Office of Management and Budget directive, the Asian or Pacific Islander racial category was separated into two categories: one being Asian and the other Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander.

Here are some facts about each group from the U.S. Census Bureau:

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Categories: Data Points

Diversity Programs Important During Recession

Now is not the time to kill your diversity program. According to new research from George Mason University, workplace discrimination actually increases in an economic downturn. A recent study by Eden King, an assistant professor of psychology at the Fairfax, Virginia, college, found that competition for fewer jobs and resources often forces minority groups to the outside.

For instance, King and her coresearchers found that when white women and men were told that the economy was going to tank and were then asked to evaluate four equally qualified job candidates, the majority selected the white male candidate. When they were told that the economy would improve, however, they tended to favor the female Hispanic candidate.

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Categories: Feature

Helping Introverts Help the Company

Managers often hire people who mirror them behaviorally; when they don’t, they tend to get frustrated and criticize the employee because of his or her work style. Performance-based concerns are valid, but if the employee is “getting the job done,” it’s a different matter. Diverse work styles and thought processes, say experts, can offer a team a broader perspective and better solutions.

One of the most underutilized types of employee? Introverts, says Jennifer Kahnweiler, author of The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength. “With an appetite for talk and attention, extroverts dominate the workplace,” she says. “Meanwhile, introverts — with their quiet smarts and successes — sit on the professional sidelines, routinely ignored, overlooked, and misunderstood.”

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Categories: Ideas for Leaders

EEOC Reports Job Bias Claims at New Record

April 19, 2009 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that workplace discrimination charge filings increased 15 percent last year to an unprecedented level of 95,402. While the agency stated that it didn’t know if this was a trend, it was an indication of a persistent problem.

All of the main categories of charge filings with the EEOC increased, but the number of charges based on age and retaliation had the largest annual increase. In its report, the EEOC stated that the increase in filings may be attributable to many factors, “including economic conditions, increased diversity, and demographic shifts in the labor force, employees’ greater awareness of the law, the EEOC’s focus on systemic litigation and changes to EEOC’s intake practices.”

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Categories: Agency Insight

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