Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Contact: Susan Klopfer, MBA
U.S. citizens are changing, whether they know it or not. "Besides getting older, our skin color is changing. Even our taste for food, how we dress and the religions we follow are undergoing major transformation.
"From businesses to families — new languages, new relationships and new music and entertainment are emerging into our lives," says diversity expert, Susan Klopfer.
People once called "minorities" are becoming the majority and are introducing a whole new set of likes and dislikes...and requirements, says Klopfer, who is also a civil rights author and diversity consultant.
Klopfer draws on vital statistics, like this data recently reported by the U.S. government: half the country's population will be members of ethnic minorities by 2050, according to the Census Bureau.
How can businesses−from banks to colleges (large and small)−adapt to what some see as chaos, and thrive?
It is clear, some organizations are having a very difficult time addressing the needs of new employees, Klopfer states -- "...those employees who are not part of the curret majority group, which is typically white and male."
“Unfortunately, some businesses are not recognizing the importance of the changing workforce and marketplace and many are being sued left and right over employment discrimination." Klopfer shares some shocking statistics:
In one major study using data from the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission, discrimination charges increased by 77 percent in a 7-year period. Of these complaints, 37 percent sued over racial discrimination, 31 percent charged sexual discrimination and harassment, 9 percent alleged discrimination based on national origin and the remaining 23 percent of the complaints were mixed, and included discrimination based religion, age, disability and other allegations.
Klopfer adds to this, a study by the U.S. Department of Justice finding that lawsuits claiming discrimination in the workplace more than tripled in the late 1990s.
“Here is the trend: more than 82,000 private-sector discrimination charge filings were received in Fiscal Year 2007 by EEOC, representing the largest single-year increase since the 1990s. Two years later, there were over 93,000 workplace discrimination charges filed with the EEOC nationwide during Fiscal Year 2009, the second highest level ever, and monetary relief obtained for victims totaled over $376 million.”
In fact, more people with disabilities filed charges of discrimination against their employers that year than at any other time in the 20-year history of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Klopfer adds.
But there is an answer, a way to take advantage of the unique opportunities embedded in diversity, Klopfer says, with education serving as the major key. She has announced four free, 30-minute diversity education webinars geared for business owners and executives. "But anyone can attend," she adds.
Titled "Five Costly Diversity Mistakes Companies Make -- And How to Avoid Them," each online session addresses how organizations and businesses often respond to diversity changes, "...unfortunately, too often in ways that damage their ability to market successfully to all segments of today's diverse populations. Companies will be challenged to answer such questions as −
Are you ready to attract new diverse and global customers? Will your company be able to hire and keep the best employees? Is your organization stuck with being afraid of getting sued because of discrimination or harassment perpetrated, without your knowledge, by your own untrained employees?
The Iowa-based consultant states workshops are available to "anyone looking for sensible answers to these questions and more." Attendees will receive a gift valued at $500, Klopfer said. "Each session contains the same information; we're mixing dates and times to accommodate as many people as possible."
Online session dates are set for Wed, Sep 8, 2010 4:00 PM - 4:30 PM CDT , Thu, Sep 9, 2010 10:00 AM - 10:30 AM CDT , Fri, Sep 10, 2010 10:00 AM - 10:30 AM CDT, Mon, Sep 13, 2010 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM CDT.
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