Sunday, July 3, 2011

To Foster Diversity, Paint the Big Picture

The New York Times
Job Market
Published: July 2, 2011

Q. You are a member of a minority group and want to become involved in creating a more inclusive and tolerant environment at your company. You would also like those efforts to benefit you professionally. How should you start?
A. Make sure you understand the corporate environment and culture before trying to change it, said Lisa Rubens, chief of staff for diversity and inclusion at Deloitte Consulting in Chicago. It will probably be hard to create diversity initiatives in a company that doesn’t feel they are necessary or beneficial.
Whatever you do — whether starting a task force or organizing multiethnic potluck lunches — the effort should be aimed at helping the business. “If it’s all about making you look good, people will see through that very quickly,” Ms. Rubens said.
There are many ways to become a representative of your minority group as a company employee. One of the most common is to join the company’s diversity advisory board or a group concerned with things like recruiting and advancement, said Laura S. Hertzog, director of diversity and inclusion programs at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations of Cornell University in New York.

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