Tag Archives: diversity

Diversity Making Little Progress in the Business World

24 Jun
workplace segregation

Despite everything, many workplaces are still segregated by gender and race.
Image: Shutterstock

The Harvard Business Review (HBR) recently published a study tracking the segregation of women and minorities in the workplace.  Even though you have most likely been through a diversity training in the last six months, you may find that your co-working population looks a lot like you.  It turns out that equal opportunity has stalled for thirty years.  After the Civil Rights Act of 1964, government and social pressure on firms to reduce segregation created more equal opportunity for minorities, most significantly for white women.  However, the levels of jobs where women and blacks work side by side with white males has leveled out, and in some cases lowered, since the 1990s.

workplace diversity

Only 1 in 6 private businesses hold managers accountable for professional development of minorities.
Image: Shutterstock

For example, over 70% of black women in the workforce today would need to switch careers in order to have an even representation in all major occupational fields.  This is down only about 10% from 1970, and the line has been nearly flat since 2000.  Black males have been sitting on a 50% segregation rate for thirty years, and while white women’s segregation has come down the most significantly, it has tapered off in the last decade.  The study concluded that the reasoning for these results has been from a shift from accountability and outspoken public opinion to trainings and vague policies built into the company handbook.  HBR found that today, only about 1 in 6 private businesses actually hold managers accountable for professional development of minorities.

This study may prove valuable evidence to the decisions on affirmative action currently being weighed in the Supreme Court.  Many people believe we should end the practice of requiring a certain percentage of minorities to be chosen for university programs or jobs.  While affirmative action is slightly different than equal opportunity, the decision could affect how people feel about progressing underrepresented groups in the workplace.  The data shows that something needs to change, but perhaps the programs need innovation to integrate our workforce into a true reflection of our population.


Minority Statistics for MBA Applicants are Skewed

12 Jul

It is important to introduce diversity into the business world. While statistics says that minorities are more represented in MBA programs at much higher rates than they once were, the statistics can be misleading because many of these minority students are Asian and the amount of Asian students far outweighs the number of African American, Latino and Native American enrollments.

Many administrators have voiced their concerns on this topic. While it wouldn’t be fair to keep out a fully qualified Asian student on the grounds that the school has too many Asians, it also wouldn’t be fair to accept a student of a different race that is less qualified. If any sort of system were in place to deal with the concerns, you would effectively have different admission standards for students based soles upon race.

This has become somewhat of a dilemma for school administrators and it has left them scratching their heads on what to combat this issue. This polarizing topic has generated a massive amount of buzz because there really isn’t anything the school can do.  What options do they really have, after all?

In the end, it just means that we need to carefully look at statistics to make sure that they’re telling the whole truth.