Diversity Benefits Questioned

Jul 22, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

A slow growth economy and new research has helped renew the debate on whether
there are any tangible benefits to promoting diversity in the workplace, reports
USA Today.

A recent survey by the Employment Law Alliance found more than 40 percent of
Americans question the need for affirmative action programs.

Another study conducted by researchers from MIT “found there are few direct
effects of a diverse workforce on performance — positive or negative.”

Many employers, however, think that diversity programs need a greater commitment,
not less, than those to date.

Sam Mathis, diversity vice president, Office Depot said, “We feel diversity
is our strength.”

Moderator’s Comment: What are your views on the value
of diversity initiatives in the workplace?

Many businesses restrict diversity of thinking to their
own detriment. Perhaps the problem is we mistake diversity for gender and race
and forget it is really much more than that.
Anderson – Moderator

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