CARELESS REMARKS STILL STING
This is an example of offensive comments, words and
actions: I just completed a diversity training session
with a predominantly white-collar organization. We
were deliberating various scenarios regarding how to
act and react if/when a coworker makes an inappropriate remark, e.g., a female coworker asks if you would
like to join her for lunch at a local Chinese restaurant
(using an exaggerated fake Asian accent), [and] she
asks, “Do you wish to join me for Asian chicken?”
Immediately, a couple of individuals stated that
our society has become far too “sensitive and PC.”
One individual remarked that he saw nothing wrong
with this situation, adding that comments such as
this occur often and nobody objects, so why make
a big deal of it? In the midst of this discussion, an
Asian employee, who had been quiet throughout
the training, spoke these words: “I’ve heard those
comments all of my life, and they bother me ... a lot.”
The dynamics of the entire class changed immediately
after he uttered those change-agent words. We all
have words and actions that are personally hurtful.
Therefore, it should be easy to step into another
person’s shoes in order to understand how they
may perceive inappropriate or harassing comments.
Common sense should lead us to understand [that]
disrespectful and harassing comments/actions are
detrimental to a productive environment.
CAROL BAKER DAWSON (Jeffersonville, Ind.)
THE IMPORTANCE OF LGBT ISSUES
As a recent reader of your magazine, I was pleased
to see stories of LGBT Americans in your June 2007
issue. Thank you. When I first started glancing at your
magazine (someone at work gave it to me; I am on
our internal diversity/inclusiveness committee) I was
disappointed that most of the slant of the magazine
dealt with race and people of color in the workplace.
However, you have redeemed yourself with this issue.
Thank you for not including companies who do not
offer domestic-partner benefits in your Top 50. I look
forward to more articles involving businesses who are
working hard to set policies and develop practices that
strive to include their LGBT employees.
Volunteer Center/Labor Participation Coordinator
(United Way of Dane County, Madison, Wis.)
WOMEN CAN SHOW THE WAY
Men have three buttons for people: winner, loser
Fortunately, women have many more due to the
reliance the world has invested in them for so long,
which includes both administrative duties, family
duties and teaching duties.
The result is that women are able to identify
individual strengths, weaknesses and possibilities that
allow for growth, empowerment and independence, all
of which are crucial to diversity and a world willing to
encourage diversity without coercion.
Diversity always wins with women. Isn’t it time the
world recognized that?
PATRICIA ROSS (Boston, Mass.)
The September feature “Debunking 10 Myths
About Immigrants” failed to properly attribute
a substantial amount of information to the
Southern Poverty Law Center. DiversityInc
apologizes for the omission.
CON TAC T US…
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