Passed over for being white, woman gets $2.1 million

April 21, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

According to the Kansas City Star, a local jury has awarded more than $2.1 million to Melissa Howard, who said she was passed over for a Kansas City judgeship because she was white. A county assistant prosecutor, she was one of three white women who were finalists for the position but claims that the Kansas City Council didn’t choose her because it wanted a racial minority candidate to replace Walsh.

Jurors awarded Howard $633,333 in actual damages and $1.5 million in punitive damages. According the Kansas City Star, the city is self-insured, and any judgment probably would be paid out of its contingency fund, which will total about $5 million after May 1.

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Categories: Legal News

Generation Gap: Perspective key to dealing with generational divide

March 17, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 3 COMMENTS

Here’s something you’ve probably never heard (or said): “Man, those kids in the younger generation really have their noses to the grindstone; they work much harder than we ever did.”

Fact is, there always has been a divide between generations. Each generation clashes and reacts to the one before it. Consider this analogy: The Internet is to Generation Y what rock ‘n’ roll was to the Boomers. Both are considered by the older generations to be fast and dangerous and therefore scary. Both shapes attitudes, unifies, and gives identity to those involved. Just like the Boomers’ parents couldn’t understand what all that loud music was about, the Boomers now can have a hard time relating to the global community Generation Y has found on the Web.

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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

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