Managing a Multicultural Workforce.


The more interconnected our world becomes-the closer we get to "one world"--the more each individual human being is empowered. Top companies realize the importance of creating a workforce as broad and diversified as the customer base they serve. Today's migration and globalization of diverse populations demand intercultural dialogue and the commitment from top executives to create and manage diverse and inclusive workforces in all areas of their businesses.

Global diversity is changing the way we view the world. Whether a global corporation or not, global diversity is here and it impacts us all-directly or indirectly. Cross-cultural teamwork and collaboration are essential for an organization's success. If people are to function productively, they must learn to see their differences as assets, rather than as liabilities. The labels we apply are far less important than what they represent.

Diversity management, while based on cultural change, is a pragmatic business strategy that focuses on maximizing the productivity, creativity, and commitment of the workforce, while meeting the needs of diverse consumer groups. Affirmative action focuses on getting people into an organization rather than changing organizational culture. Affirmative action is grounded in moral and social responsibility to amend wrongs done in the past to those Americans who were not of the majority population. The main objectives of managing a multicultural workforce include awareness, education, and positive recognition of the differences among people in the workplace.

Implications for recruiting and managing a diverse workforce in an organization include:

* Personal-employee morale, career growth, professional development, increased productivity

* Interpersonal-teamwork, problem solving, innovation

* Organizational-mirror the marketplace, attract and retain the best available human talent, and develop new markets

Multicultural initiatives are strategically linked to business objectives that drive the process consistently throughout the company while providing the high level of quality service that is expected from the organization. These comprehensive diversity and business strategies result in quantifiable business results. It has become increasingly evident that appropriate management of a multicultural workforce is critical for organizations that seek to improve and maintain their competitive advantage.

Based on recently reported U.S. Census Bureau data, the time to develop and execute multicultural workplace initiatives is now. The results released by the U.S. Census Bureau data show a more diverse America. A Census 2000 brief titled Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin, showed the following for the 274.6 million people who reported only one race:

White 75.1% Black or African American 12.3% American Indian and Alaska Native 0.9% Asian 3.6% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1% Other 5.5% *Note: Total equals 97.5%, The Census Bureau also reported that Hispanics, who may be of any race, totaled 35.3 million, or about 13% of the total population. This information was obtained from a separate question on Hispanic or Latino origin.

This data speaks to racial/cultural diversity that comprises today's workforce. Additional examples of diversity include age, religion, geography, disability, and sexual orientation. The opportunity to realize the benefits of the diverse population-from marketing to consumers and identifying minority suppliers to managing a multicultural workforce-is one that corporate America should make the most of today.

When a company is recognized for managing a multicultural workforce, it is most likely to attract the best and brightest talent. As the value of diversity continues to grow in business communities and elsewhere, recruiting and retaining talented employees who are diverse is becoming more important to organizational success. An organization's future depends on the quality of its employees today. Managing a multicultural workforce well, aids the recruitment process. Because diversity and inclusion initiatives are often precursors to the type of career opportunities and situations that await them, recruits commonly ask about an organization's multicultural programs and factor them into their employment decision. Qualified and interested candidates are usually attracted to employers who are able to show commitment to developing and promoting a wider array of people.

Ernst & Young

Leveraging the diversity of its people to their benefit,-and the benefit of clients, is a key ingredient to the success of a leading professional services firm such as Ernst & Young. Understanding, valuing, and encouraging cultural diversity, which involves a host of factors beyond race, ethnicity, and gender, are key elements in capturing the power of diversity of thought.

With these objectives in mind, Ernst & Young made a commitment to diversity years ago and continues to empower people to implement structures that help carry out activities and honor those who make a difference

The firm was the first in its industry to assign a full-time partner to oversee minority recruiting and retention. In 1994, Ernst & Young established the Office of Minority Recruiting and Retention (OMRR), a critical step toward our recognition as "the employer of choice" for all professionals.

The African-American community is a very important target for Ernst & Young from a recruiting and retention of talented professionals perspective. In addition, we provide professional services to many African-American-owned businesses.

The firm has very strong ties with organizations that support development of ethnic minorities overall as well as those that focus on the African-American community, such as the National Black MBA Association, the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), and the National Society of Black Engineers.

Ernst & Young provides multi-tiered support to NABA through participation in the national convention and student conferences on local levels. The firm also supports NABA's Accounting Career Awareness Program (ACAP), which holds forums on college campuses to bring high school students in contact with accounting professionals who serve as role models and provide career direction. Ernst & Young's employees attend the conferences and give presentations, participate in question and answer forums, and act as mentors for the participants.

In addition, Ernst & Young has had a long-standing relationship with many of the nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and has outreach programs to the schools' administrations, faculties, and students.

"Diversity is fundamental to our business. But it is also fundamental to our view of how we do business," said Rick Bobrow, Americas CEO. "To help our clients, and ourselves, achieve success, we have to leverage the different ideas, backgrounds, and values of all our people. When people of all ethnic groups are represented at all levels of the firm, we are better able to perform in a global environment, attract the best talent, and ensure that our clients are served well."

The Internal Revenue Service

The Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (CI) division is striving to be a model employer. Our goal is to build and maintain a diverse work force; one that reflects the communities in which we serve. We realize that to be a leading law enforcement agency in the 21st century, we must fully embrace the diversity that exists among the citizens of America and strive to replicate that diversity among our own workforce.

IRS Criminal Investigation special agents investigate complex financial crimes including tax evasion, money laundering, and other related financial crimes. "The kind of service that we provide the American public requires us to connect with all aspects of diversity. Each culture brings unique views and unique methods of problem solving. We realize that we cannot effectively accomplish our mission with a work force that only represents one culture," Says Michele Hamilton, Director, EEO and Diversity, for CI. Hamilton is the first to hold this new senior level position within CI, that is dedicated to promoting diversity. Criminal Investigation is pioneering a new way of thinking and has made a proactive commitment to valuing diversity. The CI Diversity Council is a shining example of this commitment. The council, which is made up of Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, male, and female CI employees, will provide a voice for employees to address diversity-related concerns, and improve the quality of their worklife. In addition to these innovative changes, CI is partnering with various historically black colleges and universities, and Hispanic universities, to offer students the opportunity for employment with CI through the student career intern program.

If you're looking for a career in law enforcement with an agency that understands the importance of having a diverse work force, then visit us at to learn more. Applications are now being accepted.

The MONY Group

"The financial services marketplace is going through incredible changes with less focus on product and more focus on advice. In order to deliver that advice, companies need to emphasize training and education, a commitment to using technology as an enabler and a means of providing financial professionals with access to the products that customers need to meet their financial goals."-Michael Roth, Chairman and CEO, The MONY Group.

While our rich and long history is unique in this age of downsizing and merger-acquisitions, we do not stand on or grow with past vision. We work hard to maintain our competitive edge by looking for and implementing innovative ways to approach our market. Today, when you represent The MONY Group, you represent a portfolio of financial service companies that have each distinguished themselves in their marketplace.

Since 1843, MONY has grown...

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