Diversity in the Workplace

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"Women and minorities require more career attention than do white males." Do you agree or disagree with the statement? Why or why not?

Expert Answers

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I agree with this statement to some degree, but I would qualify that agreement.  It is true, I think, that women and minorities need more career attention than white males.  However, it is not because of attributes specific to those groups.  Instead, it is because our system has long been geared towards the needs of white males.  Because of this, other people need more career attention.

Let us look at the case of women as an example of this.  Unless a firm has programs to make sure that women are progressing up the corporate ladder, women may be stuck in low-end jobs.  This is not, however, because women are less good at their work.  It is more likely to be because (for example) their male supervisors feel that they are not sufficiently dedicated to their work.  In our society, women are expected to do much more in the way of family duties than their husbands.  They might need to take time off work to bring their child to the dentist.  They may not be able to work late because they are expected to be home and taking care of the children after the day care closes.  Their bosses see this as evidence that they are not dedicated to their jobs and do not deserve promotion.

As cases like this show, it is likely that women and minorities do need more career attention, but that this is true because of societal inequities, not because of any fault on the part of the members of these groups.

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