The article describes the story of Lou Gerstner, former IBM CEO, who in 1995 created a diversity task force to build upon the already existing IBM equal opportunity policies. Gerstner was of the opinion that the company was not diversified enough, especially at the management level, and that increasing diversity in the work place could not just create a more inclusive work environment, but essentially could also enhance revenue by attracting a more diverse customer base. The task force was comprised of eight different groups that each had a leader opposite of their members, e.g. a group of males had a female team leader, etc. It was one of the first hurdles he had to overcome to create a more cohesive team. The goal of these groups was to identify needs and wants, how they could be achieved, and how to create a better work environment with more opportunities and job satisfaction for everybody. During his reign as CEO, Gerstner adapted diversity as a company operating strategy, and thereby increased revenue, and rebuilt the entire employee infrastructure into a more diversified...
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It stands to reason that a company has to go beyond just trying to meet hiring quota for perceived minorities and policies that are written on paper. Action needs to be taken where all employees are involved. It will create a better understanding, bring about a sense of inclusiveness, and will be beneficial in the long run for the company business growth and employee retention rate. While action is necessary, it is also vital that managing diversity is an on-going process. It includes learning about diversity, keeping up on latest training materials, providing training material, mentor others, and serve as a role model to create new behavior patterns. Without these tools, a manager will be able to manage diversity successfully.
Thomas, D. A. (2004). Diversity as Strategy. Harvard Business Review, 82(9), 98-108. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
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