Recommended Reading

by Race in the Workplace special correspondent Erica Mauter

I Just Want To Work With Someone Like Me! - The Black Factor
“[I]f you are a White interviewer or someone who has input into hiring decisions and you can’t imagine many circumstances in which a minority applicant would ‘fit’ in at your company or within your corporate ‘culture,’ then you are probably a racist and—based on that—you should not be rewarded with the power to impact anyone’s livelihood.”

Watch for Interview Warning Signs - BusinessWeek
“Hindsight is better than 20/20—it’s LASIK.” Take some time after an interview, preferably with a friend, to go back over all the little statements that sounded weird at the time.

Accommodating the Female Body by Jessica Roberts - Social Science Research Network
Abstract: “This essay presents a novel approach to understanding sex discrimination in the workplace by integrating three distinct areas of scholarship: disability studies, labor law, and architectural design. Borrowing from disabilities studies, I argue that the built environment serves as a situs of sex discrimination. In the first section, I explain how the concept of disability has progressed from a problem located within the body of an individual with a disability to the failings of the built environment in which that person functions. Using this paradigm, in the next section, I reframe workplaces constructed for male workers as instruments of sex discrimination. I then explain how built environments intended for the male body constitute disparate impact under Title VII. In the final section, I present the architectural school of universal design, which has been a source of crucial innovation in the disability labor rights framework, as a means for both de-abling and de-sexing the workplace.” (via Workplace Prof Blog)

Five ways to feel less guilty quitting, and why Gen Y feels guilt giving notice - Brazen Careerist by Penelope Trunk
“So Generation Y leaves a job when there is not great personal growth. But in each job they have, they are great at asking people to help them, so they generally feel guilt when they leave one of those people for a new job offer – because Gen Y feels loyal to people who help them…. If you are a young person worrying about quitting, though, here’s a reality check. The company is going to be fine when you leave.”

The Three Signs of a Miserable Job - Patrick Lencioni
Anonymity, irrelevance, and immeasurement (”the inability of employees to assess for themselves their contribution or success”). (via Strategic HR Lawyer)

Who Benefits? - Workplace Prof Blog
According to a study by Duke University law professor Barak Richman, “low-income and minority individuals did not use [mental health and pharmaceutical] insurance benefits as often as their white and higher-income co-workers. As a result, insurance companies disbursed more healthcare dollars to whites and higher-income individuals, leading to a likely wealth transfer from nonwhites to whites and from low-income to high-income individuals, Richman said.”

6 Years After Sept. 11, Muslims See More Inclusive Workplaces - DiversityInc
“As we get further from Sept. 11, 2001, it appears that American Muslims are safer and more comfortable in the office. While reported discrimination cases against Muslims overall continue to increase, incidents in the workplace are decreasing.”

Multicultural is new workplace model -
“As globalization becomes a reality, more and more companies will employ people of every race, nationality, religious background, and age group. These people will work side by side in the same office building, others a hemisphere away. That’s why if your company is still leading the ‘old’ — read ‘white, male, authoritarian’ — way, you’re making a mistake. It would be great if you could magically fill your leadership ranks with men and women from different cultures, backgrounds and traditions. But if that’s unrealistic, Juana Bordas [author of the upcoming book Salsa, Soul, Spirit] says you can gain a lot by simply borrowing their techniques.”

Family-friendly, or freeloader-friendly? - Fortune
A team leader struggles with how to be flexible, accommodating, and fair to the team when personal time is needed for family issues.

Hedge Fund Power! - Washington Post
“If you’re lobbying to keep a tax break, rich white guys making astronomical sums by investing other people’s money aren’t the most sympathetic clients — especially when they’re paying taxes at a lower rate than firefighters and teachers. So the private-equity and hedge fund industry has come up with a cynical new approach, arguing that raising their taxes would hurt women- and minority-owned firms and dampen investment in needy urban areas.”

Recommended Reading is a weekly feature where we link to some of our favorite workplace-related blog posts and articles. If you would like to suggest a link to Erica, please email

Recommended Reading

by Race in the Workplace special correspondent Erica

Women’s Place: Urban Planning, Housing Design, and Work-Family Balance - Social Science Research Network
Katharine Baird Silbaugh examines the effect that the spaces we exist in have on work-life balance. She’s looking to fill in a gap in a body of literature that already illustrates “the role of work-family conflict in hampering women’s economic, social, and civil equality.” (via Workplace Prof Blog)

Dangers of Taking Legal Action Against Assholes - Work Matters
Bob Sutton comments on anti-bullying legislation being considered in several states intended to make it easier to prosecute workplace bullies, going above and beyond the standards that currently exist for proving race- and gender-based discrimination. Bob essentially says that if your work environment is that toxic, you, personally, are better off getting out of it because trying to successfully make a case will require you to continue to experience and subsequently relive the abuse.

Companies ramp up diversity like never before - USATODAY
Yet another story on globalization of the economy and companies’ efforts to build workforces that are reflective of the changes and effective in managing them. (via Work in Progress)

Weighty matters: the high cost of obesity in the workplace - Workers Comp Insider
“As if the link between obesity and adverse health effects weren’t substantial enough, three new studies add to the growing body of evidence that employers pay a steep cost for overweight employees.” One study indicates that obese workers incurred 13 times as many lost-work days as non-obese workers.

Great Facilitators - Management Craft
Lisa Haneberg disagrees with the notion that a great facilitator is blind to people’s differences or quirks. “I think a great facilitator is very aware of differences and quirks and modifies things to both accommodate individual needs and bring out everyone’s participation. When I work with a group, I like to model being open about differences so that the group can help each other feel connected and heard.” So many people these days say that they don’t see color, which is completely untrue. They ignore it. Can’t we all take Lisa’s approach?

Recommended Reading is a weekly feature where we link to some of our favorite workplace-related blog posts and articles. If you would like to suggest a link to Erica, please email

Recommended Reading

by Race in the Workplace special correspondent Erica

RACIAL INEQUALITY IN THE E.U.: Facts are essential - The National Law Journal
It’s the “European Year of Equal Opportunities for All.” The E.U. Equality Ministers want to kick off this effort to combat discrimination by collecting lots of data. The French are not pleased because they have a national “color-blind” policy of not collecting such data. Workplace Prof Blog sums it up: “[Author David Oppenheimer] argues that collecting facts and data about ethnic groups is essential to overcoming the myth that we live in a color-blind world. David concludes that, ‘Measuring the extent of racial inequality hasn’t eliminated the problem in the United States, nor will it in Europe. But it does make it harder to ignore.’”

Pre-employment Testing: Between a Rock and a Very Hard Place - Workers Comp Insider
A Los Angeles Fire Department employee was recently awarded $3.75 million in damages because the LAFD ordered him to fudge the screening process and favor women in pre-employment screening activities in order to increase the number of women fire fighters. “[W]hatever tools and standards employers use to screen applicants, they must strive for transparency. Establish reasonable criteria and apply them uniformly. If the criteria have a disproportionate impact on one segment of applicants, re-examine the criteria carefully.”

A Way to Keep Domestic Partner Benefits - Inside Higher Ed
“Michigan’s public colleges and universities were barred by a state appeals court in February from offering health and other benefits to the same-sex domestic partners of employees. So Michigan State University is trying another tack: extending benefits to people it labels ‘other eligible individuals.’” Nice to see a large employer take swift action on behalf of its employees. (via Workplace Blog)

Legislation Expected to Overturn Ledbetter Ruling - OFCCP Blog
You’ll recall that the Supreme Court’s Ledbetter decision was regarding a pay discrimination lawsuit. Numerous senators and representatvies have expressed intent to propose legislation that will specify that every paycheck received at a pay rate deemed to be the result of discrimination is a repeat instance of discrimination. Way to treat the symptoms and not the problem! And with unnecessary legislation, no less! Whether the paycheck itself is an act of discrimination is not the issue. My beef is still with the 180 day limit an employee has in which to make their case.

Recommended Reading is a weekly feature where we link to some of our favorite workplace-related blog posts and articles. If you would like to suggest a link to Erica, please email