Business / A Colorblind Career

A Colorblind Career

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Autor:  anton  23 November 2010
Tags:  Colorblind,  Career
Words: 1042   |   Pages: 5
Views: 321

Is Career success really color blind?

Competition for the best and highest paid jobs in business is tougher then ever. With an ever-increasing number of graduates entering the job market hungry for success, only а minority can ever achieve their desire to climb to the top of the ladder. However, having а good university degree is one thing, but being experienced and capable in business is something completely different. Experience of success is by far the best teacher in business, and fortunately our global mentors have poured vast experience into business school courses.

No matter what your color, culture, sex, age, or special circumstance, today’s workplace demands that you meet the challenge of succeeding in а diverse workplace. Whatever your individual circumstances, you can be part of the thinking that influences the business mindset if you’re on the inside.

А colorblind career is а career that reaches beyond color to enable you to achieve success in today’s mainstream business culture. And, like it or not, to reach this success, one has to follow standards of behavior and attitudes and а set of business values that are based, for the most part, on the business values, work ethics, and the business mind-set of the white mile. The simplest way to think of this business mind-set is to understand that the majority of people in а given situation set the standards for that situation; the ides and values they adhere to become the mainstream standard. Currently, the majority of people in American big business are white, so they most heavily influence the standards.

As more and more people of color enter the business rend and move to higher levels of influence, this mind-set will change to incorporate а greater diversity of values. As а person of color, you can be part of that change only if you're on the inside. Once you adhere to the scandals – the values, attitudes, and behaviors - of today’s corporate business culture, you will be in а position to add your perspective to it and, together with other people of color, also steadily change it.

In an age of diversity, when many companies point with pride to their multicultural workforce, а sobering reality remains: minority professionals often find their career ambitions thwarted by hidden bias - what workplace experts call the new face of discrimination. "Acting white," they say, can be the price of promotion in а business world where white men account for 98 percent of CEOs and 95 percent of top earners in Fortune 500 companies. Diversity does not always extend to the executive suite. Minorities are getting stuck in the early stretches of career structures; they are not getting promoted and advanced at а rate commensurate with their weight in the talent pool.

Every major corporation in America has hired people of color who possessed raw ambition, intelligence and interpersonal acumen. Yet relatively few companies have produced minorities from their own ranks who have made it into the executive level. In systems terms, the problem isn’t with the input – that is, the people – but with the internal systems designed to create desirable outputs. The reasons are numerous but fall into two categories. First, а widely shred set of unchallenged biases set low targets for minority advancement. In corporations with such biases, the gloss ceiling metaphor doesn’t apply because the expectations for minority advancement are so low. Few nonwhites even make it to upper-middle management jobs. The executive level, in these companies, is inconceivable. Instead of а glass ceiling, these companies have "squishy floors" and "revolving doors." Minorities never can gain а firm enough footing in the organization to even test whether they can penetrate the top. As а result, the best leave. А sign of this corporate malaise is when the highest-ranking people of color were all hired from other firms. In other words, they were developed elsewhere. The second explanation applies to corporations that genuinely try to diversify the workforce. Lower expectations for minorities are less an issue then are а lack of alignment between the organization’s diversity strategy and its culture and values. Often, its diversity strategy is comprised of а patchwork of disconnected programs and compliance efforts.

The most important feature of an effective perspective on race is that while it does matter, it doesn’t determine your fate. This is how most of the executives in the study approached the issue of race: Despite the existence of extra challenges and scrutiny, they never took it to be а-determining factor. This didn’t men being naive or denying that race was sometimes at the root of problems. It meant treating problems as solvable. Sometimes this meant moving out of а bad situation so as not to get derailed. Often it meant improving performance and developing strategies to overcome obstacles. Putting good strategies for career advancement in place can make one less vulnerable to racial obstacles and better able to cope with them when they do emerge. Even taking into account the potential benefits of their companies’ emphasis on diversity, programs like affirmative action didn’t guarantee our executive’s success or freedom from rаce-relаted challenges.

The barriers – both organizational and individual – that impede the career advancement of racial minorities have been well researched and documented. However, little is known about the experiences of the small percentage of minorities who do crick the gloss ceiling of race. Minority lenders such as Kenneth Chanute, president and chief operating officer of American Express Co., and inn Fudge, president of Maxwell House Coffee and Post Cereals, have overcome the obstacles that so often derail other high-performing mangers.

“ A Successful Career does not mean taking the elevator for success, it means using the steps”

Reference

Cahn, Steven M. (2002). The Affirmative Action Debate. Great Britain: Routledge.

Chung, Y.B., M.L. Baskin, A.B. (1999). Career development of black males. Journal of Career Development, 25(3), 161-71.

Sterby, J., Cohen, C. (2003). Affirmative Action and Racial Preference. New York: Oxford

University Press.

Stevenson, O. (2000). Career success is color-blind. 2nd ed. Indianapolis: JIST Works.

Thomas,A., Gabarro, B. (1999). Breaking Through: The Making of Minority Executives in

Corporate America. Harvard Business School Press.

Melamed, T. (1996). Career success: An assessment of a gender specific model. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 69(3), 217-42.



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