Half of diversity managers too busy to do the job

August 18, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 1 COMMENTS

One hundred percent of the 80 large law firms that participated in a recent survey report having a diversity committee. That number is up from 96 percent from last year’s Altman Weil Flash Survey — and it’s not the only indication that law firms are increasingly committed to diversity efforts. For instance, 58 percent say they had a designated diversity manager or director, up eight percent from last year and 13 percent from 2005, when the first survey was conducted.

However, those diversity managers often don’t have the time to do the job effectively, said some respondents. Although 79 percent of diversity managers are lawyers in their firms — compared to 67 percent in 2007 and 57 percent in 2005 — the number who hold the position full time is down from 61 percent in 2007 to 53 percent in 2008. In fact, 44 percent of the lawyer-managers in the position balance their duties with an active law practice. Of those, 65 percent have billable-hour requirements as high as 2,000 hours per year.

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Categories: Diversity Trends

What are diversity managers paid?

August 18, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

What are diversity managers paid? A recent Altman Weil Flash Survey of 80 large law firms revealed that the median annual total cash compensation for diversity managers at those organizations is $184,000, up 5.1 percent from 2007. Other findings:
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Categories: Data Points

Tavern on the Green settles for $2.2 million with EEOC on sexual, racial, and national origin harassment suit

August 18, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced the settlement of a Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 harassment retaliation lawsuit against Tavern on the Green, the landmark restaurant located in Central Park in New York City. The settlement included an award of $2.2 million and significant remedial relief.

The EEOC sued Tavern on the Green in September 2007 after conducting an administrative investigation and attempting to reach a voluntary settlement out of court. The commission charged that the restaurant engaged in severe and pervasive sexual, racial, and national origin harassment of female, black, and Hispanic employees.

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Categories: Legal News

Labor Day 2008: September 1

August 18, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the first observance of Labor Day is believed to have been a parade of 10,000 workers on September 5, 1882, in New York City, organized by Peter J. McGuire, a Carpenters and Joiners Union secretary. By 1893, more than half the states were observing a “Labor Day” on one day or another, and Congress passed a bill to establish a federal holiday in 1894.

President Grover Cleveland signed the bill soon afterward, designating the first Monday in September as Labor Day. Here are some statistics about America’s workforce from the U.S. Census Bureau: read more…

Categories: Just the Facts

From the ADA to returning soldiers to work: Richard Pimentel’s crusade for the disabled

July 21, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 1 COMMENTS

From the ADA to returning soldiers to work

Earlier this month, the country celebrated it’s 232rd birthday. We celebrated with fireworks, picnics, and parades to honor our veterans who have fought in wars past and the soldiers who are currently abroad fighting for our country. This month also marks the 18th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). What do those two things have in common? To answer that question, we introduce you to Richard Pimentel.

After coming back from the Vietnam War with significant hearing loss, Pimentel became an unlikely hero in the “silent” civil rights movement, which focused on affording people with disabilities the same rights as those without, and his work would become a cornerstone for the creation of the ADA. Eventually, he naturally progressed to the workers’ compensation field.

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Categories: Feature

Babson College proves it takes diversity seriously

July 21, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

As of last year, Babson College in Newton, Massachusetts, had two diversity managers, an assistant dean charged with increasing campus-wide inclusion, and a few HR professionals focused on diversity. But the college’s senior leaders decided that wasn’t enough. In March, they appointed Elizabeth Thornton to be Babson’s first chief diversity officer (CDO).

“The senior leadership felt that the college needed one person to be part of the president’s cabinet to develop an overarching comprehensive and fully integrated strategy to help Babson be in the forefront of this issue of preparing students to be effective transcultural leaders in a global marketplace,” Thornton explains.

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Categories: Diversity Strategies

The path to diversity: through a computer?

July 21, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

Could software solve your diversity problems? The National Science Foundation thinks so. The federal agency awarded a $450,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant to the Boulder, Colorado, tech firm OptTek Systems, which plans to build a software application that can improve an organization’s ability to strategically plan and manage its workforce.

Issues such as limited talent or an aging workforce “are changes companies are going to have to contend with so they can plan out how their workforce is going to evolve and better strategize how to meet their financial goals,” says OptTek chief development officer Jay April. He says the benefits of the software, called OptForce, include integration of strategic business planning with workforce planning, cost-effective achievement of diversity goals, and increased confidence in forecasting business performance.

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Categories: Ideas for Leaders

Wal-Mart to pay $300,000 to rejected applicant to settle disability discrimination lawsuit

July 21, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., had agreed to pay $300,000 to a Hardin, Missouri, man to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit. In addition, Wal-Mart agreed to provide training on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to managers at its Richmond store, notify job applicants about the settlement, and inform several Kansas City-area job service agencies that the company seeks to employ qualified individuals with disabilities. The parties expect the court to approve the settlement.

Steve Bradley has cerebral palsy and uses crutches or a wheelchair for mobility. He applied for employment with Wal-Mart when it was engaged in mass hiring for a new Supercenter in Richmond in 2001. He applied for any available position but was questioned in his interview about his ability to work using his wheelchair and was told he was “best suited” for a greeter position. Ultimately, the company refused to hire him. Afterward, he filed a disability discrimination charge, and the EEOC filed suit on his behalf in federal court in Kansas City.

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Categories: Legal News

Americans with Disabilities Act: Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau

July 21, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 1 COMMENTS

On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), guaranteeing equal opportunity for people with disabilities in public accommodations, commercial facilities, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications. Here are some statistics about America’s disabled population from the U.S. Census Bureau:

  • There are 41.3 million people who have some level of disability. They represent 15 percent of the civilian noninstitutionalized population age five and older.

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Categories: Data Points / Just the Facts

Harrah’s chief diversity officer redefines inclusion

June 16, 2008 - by: Celeste Duke 1 COMMENTS

Traditionally, companies have thought that diversity is all about race and gender. Nowhere is that more the case than in the hospitality industry, which, in many jurisdictions, is held to certain legal standards.

But Fred Keeton didn’t want to just meet those standards. As Harrah’s Entertainment’s chief diversity officer, he has spent the past three years attempting to revolutionize the concept of diversity and, in the process, demonstrate to senior management that inclusion is the key to business survival. “So many professionals are caught up in the old way of thinking about diversity,” he says. “They have not even taken their definition of inclusion beyond the politically correct attachment solely to identity.”

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Categories: Feature

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