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Lesson 8: Power In Diversity. “Every human being, of whatever origin, of whatever station, deserves respect. We must each respect others even as we respect ourselves” - U.Thant. 1. How is the U.S. image of diversity changing?.

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Lesson 8: Power In Diversity

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Lesson 8: Power In Diversity

“Every human being, of whatever origin, of whatever station, deserves respect. We must each respect others even as we respect ourselves”


1. How is the U.S. image of diversity changing?

  • Assimilation: When subordinate groups take on the characteristics of the dominant group. Has evolved to be seen as unfair.

    • - Once believed that this “melting pot” would create a single kind of society.

  • Pluralism: Perspective suggests that dominant and subordinate groups function respectfully together without hostility or violence.

    • - By 2100 White=40%, Hispanic=60%

2. Why should leaders be concerned with diversity?

  • The “bottom line” is main reason leaders must work with diversity.

    • Research shows that companies that are diverse with minorities at all levels are more successful.

  • Innovation comes from many differing backgrounds.

    • Jack Welch of GE calls this the “Competitive business advantage.”

3. What is a subordinate or minority group?

  • Minority or subordinate groups often struggle for success.

  • Racial groups identified by physical differences … negative result is racism.

    • no mutually exclusive, pure biological races.

  • Ethnic groups: distinctive national origins and cultures.

  • Religious groups: shared faith.

    • In U.S. Protestants outnumber all other groups.

    • Catholics are largest minority religion.

3. What is a subordinate or minority group?

  • Gender groups:

    • “Glass ceilings” exist for women.

    • Social barriers still exist.

  • Other subordinate groups: minorities, disabilities, education, age, political beliefs, etc.

    • Are excluded because of lack of understanding, discomfort, overgeneralization of behavior.

    • Dominant groups feel threatened by differences.

  • Race really does not matter.

    • Race does not predict intelligence!

4. What is the debate about Affirmative Action?

  • “Race” can be viewed as social construction.

    • Access to education is creating a more pluralistic society.

  • Affirmative Action (1961): Ensures jobs and students are equally awarded.

    • Reverse-discrimination soon became an issue.

  • By 1978 the Bakke case caused debate.

    • Lawsuit because a white medical student did not get accepted to the program despite being more qualified than the minority (he won).

5. How should leaders deal with increasing diversity?

  • Leaders must be sensitive to “Glass Ceilings, Walls, and Escalators.”

    • Lawsuits occurring because of traditional corporate cultures.

  • Hiring of older workers is an excellent investment.

  • Focus on the “Big Picture.”

    • All people are enriched when people contribute.

  • Giuliani – example…many benefiting from one of minority status (He was Italian American).

    • He increased the “bottom line” from deficit to surplus in New York City . . . considered a hero.

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