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

Discrimination: more than a matter of semantics - Globe and Mail
An editorial on the Ontario government employee that referred to a job applicant as “the ghetto dude.” “This is the sort of nonsense that many poor people are forced to deal with on a daily basis, and often in circumstances leading to outcomes far more dangerous than missed job opportunities as ‘media analysts’ in the final months of the McGuinty government. There has been plenty of talk about racism in connection with this issue, but this is not just about race. This is also about social class, and the sort of snobby classism that says someone from a poor neighbourhood is automatically ‘ghetto’ and not entitled to the same chances and opportunities that the non-’ghetto’ people are.”

Be like Nike: Nike Racism Lawsuit Settled for $7.6M, but did the slavemasters get off too easy? - Slant Eye For The Round Eye
“If you figure the settlement to be about $20,000 per person, you have to ask yourself if Nike got off TOO EASY? I mean for 400 employees, some as far back as 1999 that got relegated to the back of the bus status - shouldn’t that be worth more?”

Hidden racism among professional classes ‘rife’ - The Asian News
“The [University of Manchester] researchers concluded that white professionals see racism as a ‘moral defect’ from which they do not suffer and anti-racist training commonly deployed in public sector organisations simply reinforces those assumptions, they say.” (via Resist Racism)

Salary, Gender and the Social Cost of Haggling - Washington Post
A group of women doctoral students filed a complaint at Carnegie Mellon because none of them were teaching classes, but all the men were. Turns out all of the men had asked to teach classes and none of the women did. Studies show differences like these are probably part of the reason why the gender gap in pay exists. (via Workplace Blog)

For Young Earners in Big City, a Gap in Women’s Favor - New York Times
“In 2005, 53 percent of women in their 20s working in New York were college graduates, compared with only 38 percent of men of that age. And many of those women are not marrying right after college, leaving them freer to focus on building careers, experts said. ‘Citified college-women are more likely to be nonmarried and childless, compared with their suburban sisters, so they can and do devote themselves to their careers,’ said Andrew Hacker, a Queens College sociologist….”

Family-Leave Values - New York Times Magazine
Long story on the changing workplace and legal environment surrounding family responsibility. “The plaintiffs in roughly four-fifths of the work-family lawsuits filed thus far have been women. As Knussman’s case shows, men, too, may find themselves subjected to stereotypes about their domestic responsibilities — by employers who feel they shouldn’t have any. What women alone appear to encounter is a powerful set of negative assumptions associated with motherhood.”

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

results-oriented work and the pareto principle - 8 hours & a lunch
Down with busy work! “too many organizations (and too many leaders) focus on the amount of work being done and the amount of hours being worked. it’s not about either one of those things. it’s about results. get clear about the results you’re looking for and then do the things that support those results. that’s what you’re paying people for — results.” My company doesn’t do this and I have a hard time imagining they ever would. But I sometimes take the liberty of telling myself I’ve certainly accomplished enough for one day and cut out a little early.

Blogging Policy - Evil HR Lady
Evil HR Lady ponders what’s happened to several of her favorite bloggers who appear to have disappeared from blogging. She suspects it’s because blogging became incompatible with events in their real lives and talks about whether one should be/stay anonymous.

Immigration Reform - The Monster Blog
A recap of the proposed immigration reform bill and what it means for employers.

Don’t Be Afraid to Challenge Authority or Jump the Chain-of-Command! - The Black Factor
What to do if the co-worker you’re having a problem with is your supervisor or manager. My question is what do you do if the person you have a problem with is your HR director (completely hypothetically speaking, of course…).

Enforcement Guidance: Unlawful Disparate Treatment of Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities - EEOC
Including sections like “Unlawful Gender Role Stereotyping of Working Women,” “Pregnancy Discrimination”, and “Discrimination Against Women of Color.” See also: EEOC’s Q&A on the subject. (via Strategic HR Lawyer)

Congress Passes Increase in the Minimum Wage - New York Times
The increase from $5.15 to $7.25 will be phased in over two years. Workplace Prof Blog wonders why this bill could only get through tacked onto an Iraq spending bill and not as a standalone bill.

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

Grad Creates Job Site for Minorities - The Harvard Crimson
Thanks, Tereza! Recent Harvard grad Brandon Terry has founded GetConnects. “‘The vast majority of people in the U.S. get their jobs through a preexisting network,’ Terry said. ‘One of the problems is that the U.S. is a deeply segregated society and that minority groups have some of the most shallow social networks of people in the U.S.’”

Congratulations on Your Diversity Policy, but Why Can’t Poor People Work Here? - Fast Company
Jory Des Jardins notes the irony in the perks that come with better-paid positions higher up the corporate ladder and proposes several ways a company can accommodate financial diversity in its workforce.

Auditioning in a Video Résumé - New York Times
Media trainers are becoming more popular with people needing to make a good impression. Consultants are helping high school kids with their college apps, executives with presentations, job applicants with video resumes, and even folks looking to give their dating profile a little zing.

Five situations when you shouldn’t change careers - Brazen Careerist
Learn to recognize what exactly it is that you’re unhappy about. e.g., If you hate your boss, a new job might be in order.

Does Collaboration and Open Source Blur The Line of What It Means To Cheat? - Businesspundit: The Business Ethics of Web 2.0
34 students in Duke’s business school (almost 10% of the class) got caught cheating on an open-book take-home final and will be penalized for honor code violation. Says Rob May, “I don’t blame the web 2.0 collaboration mindset. These students didn’t think that sharing was ok. They simply thought that it’s better to focus their efforts on what gets them hired, and in this day and age, substantive thought isn’t near the top of that list. Degrees and titles count so much more than actual knowledge.”

How not to let annoying people annoy you - Chief Happiness Officer
Simma dow now! I’ve got one guy at work that really grinds my gears. I’m not sure I’m zen enough to follow all these suggestions, but there are some good tips. I’m guilty of getting all worked up only to find later that something was (partially) my fault.

10 Best Cities for African-Americans - The Creativity Exchange
As rated by Black Enterprise Magazine. “The rankings were created from an analysis of economic indicators (African American educational attainment levels, job growth, number of black-owned businesses, black home ownership rates, etc.), as well as an evaluation of results from a web survey that received more than 2000 respondents.” A commenter wonders about a rising distinction between more northern (and more white) creative class cities and the cities that made this list, which are mostly in the southeast.

ENDA Reintroduced with a Wrinkle - Workplace Prof Blog
Professor Paul Secunda seems optimistic about the possibility of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act becoming law (provided President Bush doesn’t veto it). The hang up is including sexual orientation as a protected class. The current version under consideration also includes gender identity. Here’s the text of the bill.

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

Carnival of the Capitalists is right here!

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

I’m excited to host the Carnival of the Capitalists this week, a blog carnival on the wide ranging topics of business and economics, hosted weekly at a different blog. For those of you visiting this blog for the first time, Race in the Workplace explores how race and racism influence our working lives. It’s one of three blogs I publish through my anti-racism training company, New Demographic. I also host a weekly podcast called Addicted to Race.

Off the Books: the Underground Economy of the Urban Poor
Blog: The Picket Line
“Instead of finding a free economy operating under the government radar, in Venkatesh’s book we largely find instead an unfree economy under the thumb of a smaller, cruder, less-consistent version of the same extortion racket as what you find on a slightly larger scale in City Hall, and then again if you zoom out to the State Capitol, again if you zoom out to the nation as a whole, and in the imaginations of the World Federalists and Trekkies and Theists you can just keep cranking the zoom from there if you care to, each level symbiotic on the ones surrounding it.”

Lord Browne and the “pink plateau”
Blog: Sox First
“The Guardian calls it the “pink plateau”. “It’s the glass ceiling that makes gay men and lesbians virtually invisible in the boardrooms of global multinationals. Homophobia may be withering in offices and on the shopfloor but among Britain’s business elite the closet remains firmly shut. At the global oil majors, routinely negotiating deals in countries not known for their tolerance of homosexuality, being openly gay is simply not an option.”

Rational Business-Think: Myth or Rumor?
Blog: Trust Matters
“Yet if someone makes a business decision “straight from the gut,” we sneer at it because it’s not “rational.” (Unless Jack Welch writes a book with that title, in which case it becomes a best-seller. Rational?). Decisions are not better for being “rational” in the narrow way we have come to use it. A lot of what passes for “rational” is just “rationalization.” We need a business vocabulary for the coming relationship-driven world that encompasses a whole lot more in the word “rational” than what we have let it dribble down to.”

What Objection?
Blog: The Freestyle Entrepreneur
“That ten-year-old boy taught me a life-lesson about successful selling and not taking the first objection as the final one. As a matter of fact, he acted as if he hadn’t heard it. He didn’t take it personally and, with that one five-word question, asked for the ’sale’ again. How about you Mr. or Ms. Small-Business Owner? Are you too quick to give into the first negative response from your prospect or do you see it as an opportunity to clarify your position?”

Direct Mail Marketing Tips (1 of 2)
Blog: Small Business Buzz
“Letters are the most effective way to personalize your advertising enough that the consumer at least looks at what you have to offer. Postcards get glances before they hit the wastebasket, and catalogs usually just get set aside for a time to thumb through that may never come along. Advertising letters are the happy medium that may mean increased success.”

The Art of the Upsell
Blog: Queercents
“As consumers, I suspect we’re just used to it. Upselling permeates every aspect of consumption. From the now-defunct McDonald’s offer of “Would you like to Supersize that?” to the Best Buy worker pushing the extended warranty as she’s ringing up that Plasma television.”

Top management dis’s the importance of managerial and supervisory skills
Blog: Wally Bock’s Three Star Leadership Blog
“According to the Wall Street Journal, supervisory skills get a tiny fraction of the training budget, even though there are lots of supervisors and even though the transition from individual contributor to supervisor is one of the toughest in business or life.”

Short terminism: how shareholders destroy value
Blog: Aloys Hosman
“The investors nowadays are increasingly (and heavily) leveraged vehicles themselves. And leverage introduces risks. Without reducing the leverage, this risk can only be managed by diversification of the portfolio and by keeping the various investments in the portfolio as liquid as possible. In order to keep their portfolios liquid, their investment horizon is only a few years long. The payback from the ownership consequently needs to be delivered within those few years.”

Pricing Thoughts
Blog: Geek Practitioners Blog
“Pricing is a multidimensional aspect of marketing and the broader customer experience. It may be tougher to attract customers initially at the higher price for quality work, but you’re not the only one for whom that is better.”