Friday, May 26, 2017

Quotas: flawed but effective at boosting workplace diversity - FINANCIAL TIMES

by Brian Groom 
Originally published: May 25, 2017

Mandated targets help widen the talent pool, but can be demeaning to beneficiaries.

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Where corporate chiefs often pay lip service to boardroom diversity, Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz has done something about it. The coffee chain recently added two non-white directors, meaning that 36 per cent of its board are from ethnic minorities, 29 per cent are female and they range in age from millennials to baby boomers.

WXN and American Express Canada join forces to launch Mentorship Guide to showcase the power of workplace mentorship - CANADA NEWSWIRE

Originally published: May 25, 2017

As part of their ongoing efforts to promote professional mentorship with female executives, the Women's Executive Network (WXN) and American Express Canada have partnered to release "Mentorship Fundamentals," a practical new guide designed to help women start, structure and get the most from their mentorship relationships.

Both organizations believe that mentorship opens up opportunities for professionals at any career stage, from high-powered executives to junior employees. The right mentorship strategy can help an aspiring executive plan a career move, get feedback on a project or expand their professional network.

"Mentorship can be your window to the professional potential you have but just can't see yet. It's one of the best ways for leaders, women in particular, to get the support they need to take their careers to the next level," says Sherri Stevens, Owner and CEO of WXN. "Plus, mentorship is beneficial to both parties involved. The mentee gets advice and the mentor gets a fresh perspective, a personal connection to the next generation."

A 12-Step Program For Retaining Your Diverse Workforce - TLNT

by Dr. John Sullivan 
Originally published: May 24, 2017

Most firms have no idea that they have a revolving door that is bleeding diversity talent, because unexplainably, they don’t measure and report diversity turnover and the cost. But what if your executives knew that diversity turnover was off the chart, especially in tech where workers, and especially women, black and Latino tech workers were more likely to quit because of unfairness or mistreatment

And your executives would be even more concerned if they knew that high diversity turnover rates were costing a large corporation tens of millions of dollars each year. As a result of this continuous talent drain, it really shouldn’t be such a surprise when your firm consistently fails to meet its diversity goals. After successful diversity recruiting at your firm, HR for some reason left out diversity retention, the critical follow-up program.

I call this loss the “diversity revolving door.” This is the same phenomena that occur when you’re filling a glass, because you’ll never succeed if there is a hole toward the bottom that results in much of the liquid pouring out. And that’s exactly what’s happening with most diversity recruiting programs. You spend tons of money and management time to bring in diversity recruits only to have them leave because there was no formal proactive and targeted effort to retain them.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Women make their mark in sport’s executive suites - GLOBE AND MAIL

by Allan Maki 
Originally published: May 24, 2017

When Tricia Smith was younger and on her way to athletic glory, her mother offered some advice, “Don’t beat the boys at school. It makes them feel bad.”

Beating the boys didn’t motivate Smith. She simply wanted to be the best she could be. It turned out that attitude helped take her to a place she never imagined at a time when a meaningful number of power brokers in Canadian amateur sport are women – and there’s no reason to feel bad about it.

Through Carla Qualtrough, Anne Merklinger and Smith, women occupy three top positions of influence as Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, CEO of Own The Podium and president of the Canadian Olympic Committee, respectively. All three were athletes. Qualtrough competed as a visually impaired swimmer at two Paralympics and won three medals. Merklinger swam for the Canadian national team and curled in the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. Smith was an Olympic silver medalist in rowing before becoming a lawyer. All three worked their way through a male-dominated system to help shape sports and inclusiveness in this country.

'Bittersweet' day for ex-RCMP women as sex-harassment lawsuit nears end - CBC

by Colin Perkel 
Originally published: May 24, 2017

Two women who endured years of sexual harassment as RCMP employees expressed mixed emotions as a landmark class-action suit against the force edged Wednesday toward final court approval.

Speaking after a settlement hearing, the women expressed hope their long battle would pave the way for a more hospitable RCMP workplace.

"It's not a happy day based upon the fact that we've had to take this action to get change," said Linda Davidson, one of the representative plaintiffs. "That's sad. It's 2017."

The Legal Landscape on Employer Dress Code and Appearance Policies: A U.S. and European Prospective - CORPORATE COUNSEL

by Greg Grisham
Originally published: May 22, 2017

Personal dress and appearance is a common way individuals express their personality, including their political and religious views. Unfortunately, the personal choices individuals make in attire, hairstyle and other personal appearance factors may collide with workplace rules, creating conflicts.

Federal U.S. law does not directly regulate employer dress codes or appearance policies. However, it does prohibit employers from discriminating against employees based on a number of protected characteristics including, for example, religion, sex, race and national origin. This prohibition on discrimination can implicate employer dress codes if they have a disparate impact on individuals in a protected classification or if the policy is selectively enforced. Federal law also requires U.S. employers to reasonably accommodate the religious practices of employees unless doing so would result in an undue hardship. Additionally, some employer dress code/appearance policies may violate U.S. labor law. Furthermore, U.S. employers must also be aware of state and local laws, which often provide greater protections for employees than provided by federal law. Finally, multinational employers must be aware of the laws in foreign jurisdictions, which may differ significantly from U.S. law. This article discusses significant U.S. laws that may impact employer dress code and appearance polices, while Part II of this article addresses the laws of significant European jurisdictions.

Music can lower prejudice, boost empathy: Study - INDIAN EXPRESS

Originally published: May 24, 2017

The universal language of music may have a humanising effect and reduce feelings of prejudice between people from different racial backgrounds, say scientists. Researchers recorded a mock news story featuring an Arab and an American actor playing music together. They then showed the video clip to US participants who were not Arab.

The team found that when viewing the two cultures collaborating on music, individuals in the study were prone to report more positive perceptions – less of a prejudiced view -of Arabs. “Music would not have developed in our civilisations if it did not do very important things to us,” said Jake Harwood, a professor at the University of Arizona (UA) in the US.

“It allows us to communicate common humanity to each other. It models the value of diversity in ways you don’t readily see in other parts of our lives,” said Harwood. The benefits were notable, even when individuals did not play musical instruments themselves. Merely listening to music produced by outgroup members helped reduce negative feelings about outgroup members, Harwood said.