This chapter discusses several aspects of diversity. Many of these aspects are based on legal requirements (e.g., see Table 7.1). Other topics such as tattoo discrimination (see Table 7.2) are based on emerging social trends and not yet codified in laws and regulations. Do you foresee any new diversity topics emerging over the next several years?
You work for high fashion retailer whose primary focus is on customers 16 to 25 years old. The company is hiring a merchandise buyer. A successful person in this position must be aware of rapidly changing trends in the fashion market as well as popular culture (e.g., social media, movies, music, etc.). One of the applicants is a 55-year-old person with considerable purchasing experience in the industry. This person also has excellent references. Some of the people on your management team, however, are saying, “We doubt a person of this age can be in touch with our customers.” How would you respond?
Based on work experiences you have had, what do you think the reaction of coworkers would be if an announcement were made that there would be diversity training?
You have a friend that works in another department in your organization. Every time you stop by to see your friend, he and other coworkers are reciting lines from Saturday Night Live sketches. They have great fun doing this, it makes their jobs enjoyable, and they claim it helps improve the morale and performance of the group. The banter never seems to get crude or offensive. However, there is one female employee who does not participate in this joking around. “She’s got no sense of humor. We had a woman in our group last year and she thought we were funny,” says your friend. How do you respond? Would you respond differently if a male coworker were involved?