Fact-based communication changes “good ol’ boy” behavior

March 17, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 1 COMMENTS

Not too long ago, the board of directors of a well-known Fortune 200 corporation was out of ideas for how to deal with a difficult CEO.

The problem: At a time when this company was trying to increase the diversity of its senior ranks — and serve an increasingly diverse customer base — people complained that this CEO, we’ll call him “Ed,” was an “ol’ boy” who was chummy with his white male friends and dismissive of women and people of color who reported directly to him.

As a last resort, the board called Leslie Wilk Braksick, Ph.D., a behavioral scientist and consultant and author of the bestseller Unlock Behavior, Unleash Profits: Developing Leadership Behavior that Drives Profitability in Your Organization.

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Categories: Flashpoint

Seeking Talent: Three tips for recruiting diverse talent

March 17, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

If you want to attract a broad base of workers with talent, you must be more proactive in your recruiting efforts, says employment lawyer and diversity consultant Natalie Holder-Winfield, author of Recruiting & Retaining a Diverse Workforce: New Rules for a New Generation.
Holder-Winfield, president and chief strategic officer of Quest Diversity Initiatives, offers these three tips for getting started with recruiting talent with diversity:
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Categories: Seeking Talent

St. Patrick’s Day: Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau

March 17, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

March is Irish-American History Month. St. Patrick’s day (March 17) means a lot more than green beer and pinching those who forget to wear green. Originally a religious holiday to honor St. Patrick, who introduced Christianity to Ireland in the fifth century, St. Patrick’s Day has evolved into a celebration for all things Irish.

The world’s first St. Patrick’s Day parade occurred on March 17, 1762, in New York City, featuring Irish soldiers serving in the English military. President Harry S. Truman attended the parade in 1948, a proud moment for the many Irish whose ancestors had to fight stereotypes and prejudice to find acceptance in America. Congress proclaimed March as Irish-American Heritage Month in 1995, and the president issues a proclamation each year.

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Categories: Just the Facts

Supreme Court reviews five age discrimination cases

March 17, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Supreme Court took on five cases this term involving allegations of workplace age bias. Rulings are out on two of the cases.

In Sprint/United Management Co. v. Mendelsohn, the Court ruled that an employee suing her employer couldn’t use “me, too” evidence – testimony from employees who had different supervisors. But such evidence isn’t always out of bounds; decisions must be made case by case.
In Federal Express Corp. v. Holowecki, the Court decided what constitutes a charge filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. FedEx claimed that since the EEOC didn’t treat the documents it received alleging bias like a charge, the suit should have been dismissed. The Court disagreed saying the employee’s right to sue doesn’t depend on the EEOC’s taking action. It just requires that a charge be filed.
In Kentucky Retirement Systems v. EEOC, the Court is to decide whether a benefit plan discriminates against older workers by denying disability payments to employees eligible for retirement. In Gomez-Perez v. Potter, the Court will decide whether federal employees claiming age discrimination are protected from retaliation. Meacham v. Knolls Atomic Power Lab explores a dispute over who bears the burden of proof – the workers or the employer, which claimed layoffs were unrelated to age.

EEOC settles suit against mutual fund giant

The Vanguard Group, Inc., one of the world’s largest investment management companies, will pay $500,000 and provide other relief to settle a retaliation lawsuit. The EEOC had charged that following an African-American employee’s complaints of race discrimination, Vanguard subjected him to a series of adverse employment actions culminating in his termination.

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Categories: Legal News

Spotlight on Boomers: Boomers redefining retirement and flexibility

The face of aging in the United States is changing dramatically and rapidly, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau. Today’s older Americans are very different from their predecessors, living longer, having lower rates of disability, achieving higher levels of education and less often living in poverty. And the baby boomers, the first of whom celebrated their 60th birthdays in 2006, promise to redefine further what it means to grow older in America. In addition to redefining aging in America, baby boomers are redefining retirement and flexibility for the American employer.

There are approximately 76 million baby boomers in the workforce — 64 million will be eligible to retire by 2010. Conversely, there are only 46 million Gen Xers in the workforce. It only takes simple subtraction to realize that those numbers could represent a crippling deficit in employees who have knowledge and experience specific to their industries.

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Categories: Boomers

Employee Network Groups: Make employees — and the company — happy

February 18, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

Many employee network groups form, fail to attract significant membership or support, and disband.

The Asian American Professional Association (AAPA) at Henkel of America is not one of those: It was formed in early 2005, and its presence in the corporation continues to strengthen.

“Our workforce must reflect the communities we live in and the markets we serve and wish to serve,” says Kim Kemper, vice president of HR, shared resources, and global diversity head at Henkel. “Our employees’ collective but unique backgrounds whether by gender, education, ethnicity, geographic location — among many others — are valued and contribute to our business results.”

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A Seat at the Table: Define diversity as “mission critical”

February 18, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 1 COMMENTS

When Corbette Doyle took on the role of chief diversity officer at Aon Corp. two years ago, she did so at the request of the CEO.

“Without his support and commitment, I wouldn’t have considered making this leap,” says Doyle, who was previously a line executive at the Chicago-based company. “Our senior leaders ‘get’ the business case for diversity. That said, it is a constant issue to convince key leaders to rank diversity and inclusion higher than other critical initiatives.”

What’s worked best for her? “I always focus on the business case and the core strategic advantages that accrue from a more diverse workforce,” she says.

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Categories: A Seat at the Table

Black History Month: Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau

February 18, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 2 COMMENTS

To commemorate and celebrate the contributions to our nation made by people of African descent, American historian Carter G. Woodson established Black History Week. The first celebration occurred on Feb. 12, 1926. For many years, the second week of February was set aside for this celebration to coincide with the birthdays of abolitionist/editor Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, as part of the nation’s bicentennial, the week was expanded into Black History Month. In 2000, President Bill Clinton proclaimed February as National African-American History Month.

Here are some fact about the United States’ African-American population excerpted from the U.S. Census Bureau: read more…

Categories: Just the Facts

Union to pay $6.2 million in historic race and national origin discrimination case

February 18, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

Local 28 of the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association in New York City (Local 28) will have to pay $6.2 million to a class of black and Hispanic workers. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Local 28 provided them fewer job opportunities because of their race or national origin. The monetary part of the settlement will compensate minority members of Local 28 for lost wages for the years 1984 to 1991.
In addition to paying $6.3 million, Local 28 has agreed to significant changes in its job referral system and monitoring systems aimed at equalizing members’ access to job opportunities. Litigation continues on claims of union members who were targets of discrimination after 1991.
“We hope that these developments are an indication that, with the recent change in leadership, the union has decided, after many years of costly litigation, to work with the court and the plaintiffs in obeying the court orders and to begin to resolve the outstanding claims against it,” said Spencer Lewis, the district director of the EEOC’s New York office.
Last year, the EEOC introduced the E-RACE Initiative (Eradicating Racism And Colorism from Employment), a national outreach, education, and enforcement campaign focusing on new and emerging race and color issues in the 21st century workplace. Further information about the E-RACE Initiative is available on the EEOC’s web site at http://www.eeoc.gov/initiatives/e-race/index.html.
Ford, UAW agree to $1.6 million settlement
Ford Motor Co., two related companies, and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union will pay $1.6 million to a class of nearly 700 African Americans to settle a race discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC. Nonmonetary relief includes placement of 55 African-American test takers on the apprentice lists and the development of a new selection method for the apprenticeship programs together with detailed reporting and monitoring provisions.

The EEOC had charged that a written test used by Ford, Visteon, and Automotive Components oldings to determine the eligibility of hourly employees for a skilled trades apprenticeship program had a disproportionately negative impact on African Americans. The UAW also used the test to select apprentices. The settlement includes about $1.6 million for the class of nearly 700 African Americans who have taken the test since January 1, 1997, and weren’t place on the apprentice list at the former Visteon facilities.

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Categories: Legal News

Data Points: The Boomers @ 62

February 18, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

• The majority of Baby Boomers who turn 62 in 2008 plan to retire by age 65.

• The majority of Baby Boomers who are turning 62 this year have been married only once and have 2.4 children; however, only one in five say their children are living at home with them.

• Only 2% of 62 year-olds said they attended the Woodstock Festival in 1969.

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Categories: Data Points

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