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Embracing Workplace Diversity and Preventing Work Discrimination Lisa Frantz Shreveport diversity workshop April 17, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Embracing Workplace Diversity and Preventing Work Discrimination Lisa Frantz Shreveport diversity workshop April 17, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Embracing Workplace Diversity and Preventing Work Discrimination Lisa Frantz Shreveport diversity workshop April 17, 2009

2 Embracing Workplace Diversity and Preventing Work Discrimination

3 Diversity is generally defined as acknowledging, understanding, accepting, valuing, and celebrating differences among people with respect to age, class, ethnicity, gender, physical and mental ability, race, sexual orientation, spiritual practice, and public assistance status Diversity

4 ALL Organizations… including the NWS need the benefits of diversity in order to improve productivity and better accomplish the mission. Diversity

5 Benefits Respecting individual differences can increase productivity
Diversity in the workplace can reduce lawsuits and increase marketing opportunities, recruitment, creativity, and business image Respecting individual differences can increase productivity Benefits

6 Issues How do you make the job sound appealing to all types of workers? How can recruitment be effectively targeted to underutilized groups? How do you overcome cultural bias in the interviewing process, questions, and your response?

7 Specify the need for skills to work effectively in a diverse environment in the job, for example: "demonstrated ability to work effectively in a diverse work environment." Strategies Make sure that good faith efforts are made to recruit a diverse applicant pool, particularly underutilized minorities and women.

8 Focus on the job requirements in the interview, and assess experience but also consider transferable skills and demonstrated competencies, such as analytical, organizational, communication, coordination. Prior experience does not necessarily mean effectiveness or success on the job. Give opportunity for growth to new Ideas and innovation. Strategies

9 Use a panel interview format
Use a panel interview format. Ensure that the committee is diverse, unit affiliation, job classification, length of service, variety of life experiences, etc., to represent different perspectives and to eliminate bias from the selection process. Run questions and process by them to ensure there is no unintentional cultural or institutional bias. Strategies SOO WCM MIC

10 Know your own cultural biases
Know your own cultural biases. What stereotypes do you have of people from different groups and how well they may perform on the job? What communication styles do you prefer? Sometimes what we consider to be appropriate or desirable qualities in a candidate may reflect more about our personal preferences than about the skills needed to perform the job. Strategies

11 Classism Be conscious of agency classism – METs vs ETs vs admin assistants vs HMTs vs Interns vs ESA vs ITO vs Senior Mets. Do you treat the ETs differently than the METs because they may have less formal education? Do you speak to the janitor? Performance rating is based on employee’s assigned position description and performance factors. Don’t compare apples and oranges when they have different performance factors ESPECIALLY supervisors. Did you receive your masters from A&M? Are you choosing candidates and alliances based on any affiliation with YOUR history?


13 Ensure that appropriate accommodations are made for disabled applicants. Understand this is law when the disability is documented. Strategies JOB PERFORMANCE – KEY STATS ABOUT DISABILITY & BUSINESS Data from three multi-year studies by DuPont demonstrated that: Over 90% of employees with disabilities rated average or better on their performance reviews. People with disabilities have no greater absenteeism rates than non-disabled employees. The safety record of employees with disabilities is virtually identical to non-disabled employees.

14 Consequences of Ignoring Diversity
unhealthy tensions between people of differing gender, race, ethnicity, age, abilities, etc. loss of productivity because of increased conflict

15 Consequences of Ignoring Diversity
inability to attract and retain talented people of all kinds; complaints and legal actions inability to retain women and people of color, resulting in lost investments in recruitment and training


17 References Davis, Elmer. (July 2006). Embracing Diversity and Preventing Workplace Discrimination. Mortgage Banking 66 [10], Miller, Gloria & Julie Rowney. (1999). Workplace diversity management in a multicultural society. Women in Management Review 14 [8], Green, Kelli & Mayra Lopez. (July 2002). Diversity in the Workplace: Benefits, Challenges, and the Required Managerial Tools. Florida, USA: Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

18 DISCLAIMER Selected scenes from the TV show “The Office” were brought in to give humorous insight into some office type situations. The Classism segment was downloaded in its entirety including the analysis and comments. A good point here to make is the power of management to either make diversity a positive or negative learning environment and mold the views of those who work for them.

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