Rich Peterson's Ten Up and Down Sides for Diversity in the Workplace:

1.)        Upsides

a.)          Organizations that continue to hire, develop, and promote minorities consistently outperform their competitors in good economic times as well as bad.

b.)          Diverse workforces are better equipped to problem-solve and handle change.

c.)     Promoting diversity creates happier employees. Diverse teams are more creative and innovative.

d.)         If companies want employees to develop, excel, and move up in the ranks, the employee then develops high morale, positive attitudes, and remarkable loyalty.

e.)Investing in minority employees produces high achievers.

f.)     Employees from different cultures, belief systems and socioeconomic backgrounds have access to a wider customer base and give their company an edge in marketing and sales.

g.)          When people who have routinely heard ‘no’ start to hear ‘yes, and believe they will be rewarded for trying, they will work harder and more diligently.

h.)         Multicultural workforces are more competitive globally. The majority of people in the marketplace who are your potential customers are not white men.

i.)     Diverse backgrounds can take advantage of a wider range of experience, perspectives, skills, and ideas.  

j.)            Diversity-minded companies have a better public image.

k.)           Earning a name for equality, diversity, and acceptance improves your appearance among customers, prospective employees, clients, and competitors.

2.)        Downsides

a.)          Where there is a lack of quantifiable measurements and payoffs, anecdotal evidence flourishes.

b.)          Workplace discrimination actually increases in an economic downturn. It often pushes minority groups out of sight. (When times are challenging, people tend to look out for their own group and disengage outsiders).

c.)     Companies often fall back on "head counts" in calculating diversity efforts because the issues surrounding measurement and surveying of other aspects can be too complicated.

d.)          Diversity has been promoted on the foundation of social justice, but to be successful, programs must be built on hard evidence.

e.)There is a great deal of defensiveness amongst diversity program providers.

f.)       Many companies track the success of their diversity efforts in terms of what they, “DO,” not necessarily what leads to a, “Payoff.”

g.)          Companies do not approach diversity in terms of a dollar return on investment. This makes CEO’s frown and disinterested.

h.)         Success is usually reported, but often only in shadowy generalities rather than compelling, quantifiable, or incontrovertible results.

i.)  There are no strong positive or negative effects of gender or racial diversity on business performance.

j.)     Since there is a distinct lack of reported evidence on the success or failure of diversity programs, most often what is presented is simply anecdotal evidence.

k.)          Typecasts change very slowly and placing people of contrary groups together does little or nothing to lower narrow-mindedness.

For More Information:

Views: 204

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on November 11, 2013 at 4:41pm

Thanks, Richard. I think that while most of the people actually involved in creating a more diverse workforce are very sincere and hardworking in what they're trying to do, often the people above them view it as "something they'd like to be caught at pretending to do, so they'll leave us alone". I worked at a company where diversity essentially meant: "We hire all types of mainly white, upper-middle class people, just like us." Last I saw (, was that 92% of Fortune 500 CEOs were white men.




Comment by Richard Peterson on November 11, 2013 at 5:31pm

Yes, Keith, it's all about, "Do You FIT Our Mold" when it comes to selecting the CEO.

Women are coming from behind and getting more and more recognition than before, but it's still not enough. Not even close. The nation's economically active population is rising among Blacks and certainly Latinos.

When it comes to "CEO LAND," it is often  described as a "Boys Club."

I proceed with caution on the next comment, as a White Male, it may appear, I am defending my own. I am not.

next time you hear a plea to support women and blacks, you might save just a little kindness for the not-so-terrible, no-longer so privileged white male. - See more at:

However, below the CEO level, white men are often disadvantaged. With all of the concerns regarding discrimination suits, white men are not as privileged, as many may think. The white male population has been on the fall.

Of course, if you surveyed Wall Street, you would learn they believe, "White Men Rock!" Or, is it "Rule?"

They certainly are visible. Supreme Court, Senate, Congress and so on.

But, within time, watch those numbers dissipate.

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on November 11, 2013 at 6:16pm

Thanks, Richard. I occasionally listen to Marty Nemko's radio program. While he sometimes has useful advice, I feel he has a big chip on his shoulder and can be quite domineering toward his guests and callers, (Curiously, when I actually met him, he seemed much more subdued.)

"But, within time, watch those numbers dissipate" At the rate things are going, perhaps my  middle aged yet unborn grand children may see something different, but not much sooner. I don't expect there to be a rapid tipping point as there has been in the legalization of same sex marriage. Furthermore, I don't expect to seean openly gay Fortune 500 CEO ANY time soon( "As it stands today, there is not a single “out” gay CEO in the Fortune 500, or even the Fortune 1000, according to gay rights advocates and diversity issue experts."




Comment by Richard Peterson on November 11, 2013 at 8:13pm


You never know about "Openly Gay CEO's?"

Look at all the Vocalists, Actor, White House Officials, Senators, Attorney General's, Governors and Congressmen that have come out.

Who Knows? Sonia Sotomayor will be next?

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on November 12, 2013 at 1:04pm

We shall see, and hope for sooner than later....

Comment by Richard Peterson on November 12, 2013 at 5:49pm

You Betcha.



You need to be a member of RecruitingBlogs to add comments!

Join RecruitingBlogs


All the recruiting news you see here, delivered straight to your inbox.

Just enter your e-mail address below


RecruitingBlogs on Twitter

© 2024   All Rights Reserved   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service