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End Affirmative Action!

 
 
ronco@dodgeit.com
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      03-15-2005
In much of the racial dialogue in the U.S., integrationists dispute the
simple fact of anti-White bias in the system. Of course, the media
generally propagate our national myths -- myths intended to hide the
ball from the majority. But there is one major daily newspaper that is
overwhelmingly subscriber supported (and not supported by ad revenue).
So it is no surprise that this well known paper reports the facts. All
the facts.

The excerpt below gives us another list of American corporations
employing preference schemes. In this case, the schemes involve the
curious practice of encouraging exclusive minority "networks" in which
minorities are encouraged to "strategize" about promotions. Not the
company's success, but promotions.

You see, some organizations have several parallel corporate objectives.
Some employees and managers are expected to get the goods out the door
to customers. Other employees and managers -- now officially -- have
the job of getting themselves promoted.

In these corporate cultures, non-preferred employees charged with
getting the goods out the door are expected to ignore the blatant
promotion seeking activity of the preferred employees -- pretend it
doesn't exist -- and press on with the company's economic business.
Managers running this system have developed a wonderful set of code
words, described below, to mollify non-preferred employees who might
perceive unfairness in all this.

It tells you a great deal about the organization.

In any event, we get a nice list of short-sale candidates from this
article.

Good luck to Xerox in its drive to show the monolithic Japanese copier
companies that "diverse" management ranks are better.

Yggdrasil

The New Work Force: A New Push to Break the "Glass Ceiling"

But Senior Jobs For Minorities Remain Scarce

By Leon E. Wynter and Jolie Solomon
Staff Reporters of The Wall Street Journal
11/15/89 WALL STREET JOURNAL (J)
{Part of a Series}

For years, blacks, other minorities and women have complained about the
"glass ceiling" -- invisible but real -- that acts as a subtle barrier
to promotions into high-level executive jobs.

* * *

Today, though, a new sense of urgen p to be building over promoting
minorities into senior management. And pressure for increased efforts
is coming not just from minority employees, but also from growing
numbers of decision-makers in big U.S. corporations.

Demographics are an important reason. According to the Hudson
Institute, a think tank, white non-Hispanic men made up 45% of the
labor force in 1986, but from now till 2000, they will represent only
9% of work-force growth. So, many executives argue, the successful
companies of the future will be those that remake their corporate
cultures so that women, blacks, immigrants -- and white males -- can
get along comfortably and productively.

Thus, attention is focusing on those few companies that have shown a
knack for promoting minorities into fast-track management jobs. One
such company is Xerox Corp., where minorities held 16% of managerial
jobs and 18% of professional posts in 1987. Both figures, which have
since risen, were close to the 21% overall minority participation in
the work force in 1987, and significantly better than average:
Companies reporting that year to the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission had minorities in only 9% of managerial and 12% of
professional jobs.

What's more, two of Xerox's five regional vice presidents and general
managers are black. The vice president who heads the 16,000-person
field-service army is black. And he reports to a black man, A. Barry
Rand, who heads Xerox's U.S. marketing group, the company's single
largest U.S. operation.

Some of Xerox's tactics were considered radical just a few years ago.
Among them: encouraging minority caucus groups and national "networks"
providing support and advice to black -- and, later, female, Asian and
Hispanic -- employees. "Xerox gave them the freedom to help advance
themselves," says Glegg Watson, a black Xerox executive and co-author
of a book on blacks in corporate America.

Today, many other companies are trying to learn from Xerox. Johnson &
Johnson and Polaroid Corp. have contacted Xerox recently to find out
about its policies.

Amoco Corp., seeking the best way to establish some form of minority
employee groups, looked to Xerox for guidance. "Their reputation is
that they do a good job," says Wayne Anderson, vice president for human
resources.

Xerox officials say they didn't set out to promote minorities with the
changing labor market in mind, yet they see definite advantages in
being out front in promoting minorities. "We believe we will have an
edge on people who are trying to catch up to the work force of the
'90s," says Mr. Rand, the Xerox marketing chief. "The manager of the
future is one who can relate to all parts of the population, with the
ability to manage minorities, females, etc. and be managed by them."

* * *

Xerox's push started in the 1970s, when managers of the company's
affirmative action program examined the careers of 10 top executives to
find "the key job without which they would not have made it to where
they were," says Theodore Payne, the company's affirmative action
manager. Xerox found that the common "pivotal" job was that of
first-level sales manager. But an internal survey showed that all of
the company's 500 first-level sales managers were white. The
affirmative-action managers had their work cut out.

"We would go to a regional vice president and ask, `How many {blacks}
can you get to be a sales manager?'" Mr. Payne recalls. The carrot was
that Xerox based 20% of a manager's performance review on success with
human-resources management, including affirmative action. The stick was
unequivocal messages from two consecutive chairmen, C. Peter McColough
and David T. Kearns, that this program was going to succeed -- or else.

The program met with some resistance from white managers. "There were
some . . . who just could not adjust," Mr. Payne recalls. "Some left,
others just got crunched up." No one got fired, he says "but some had
to be put out of harm's way. If the manager had trouble with blacks,"
he says, they usually had other problems dealing with people.

In changing its culture, Xerox never tried to dismantle its informal
white, male old-boy network. Instead, the company allowed a black
network to flourish. Groups sprang up in every major regional
headquarters city.

At first, Xerox did nothing to sanction the groups. But when the first
confrontations with management arose, Xerox's Mr. Kearns, then head of
U.S. marketing, supported the caucus-group concept. Says Mr. Rand, now
in the top marketing post: "We knew we had to establish our own support
network, our own communications channels, because we were not part of
the old-boy network. We called it `revolution by telephone.'"

The caucus groups met on their own time to develop advancement
strategies. Mr. Rand says his group met after work in one another's
homes and videotaped their sales presentations for group critiques. "If
a sales rep wasn't performing well, another black sales rep might go
into that person's territory and find them prospects," Mr. Rand says of
the early days. One change the caucus sought and won was getting Xerox
to post stepping-stone job openings, a system many large companies
still resist.

But Howard Holley, a black district manager in San Diego, worries that
the groups' effectiveness may be waning because newer employees,
finding a system in place, are complacent. "The people coming into the
organization now don't feel as threatened," Mr. Holley says.

As the groups succeeded, some whites in the company grew concerned.
"There were numbers of white male employees who were worried when they
saw how aggressively we were moving," says Richard Healy, who ran
Xerox's Eastern U.S. region for most of this decade. "If I chose to
place a ready black candidate or female, sometimes the white employees
would come up and say, `What about me?'" recalls Mr. Healy, who is
white.

Mr. Healy, now a top marketing strategist for Xerox, says a company
policy of candor about its affirmative-action goals was a major
deterrent to backlash from suspicious white males. "It was a matter of
convincing people that they too would have their chance. It was a
matter of speaking about it very openly."

To be sure, Xerox's success hasn't been universal or complete. Mr.
Watson, who studied hundreds of black executives for his book on blacks
in corporations, says minorities haven't had as much success breaking
barriers in Xerox's financial-services business or in the important
international arena. "When blacks become as successful {in those
areas}, then Xerox as a whole will be by far the ultimate corporate
model," Mr. Watson says.

Even within sales, "I still think we have too high a rate of turnover
of minorities," Mr. Holley says. He adds that Xerox can only sustain
its goals by staying vigilant in training new workers.

Mr. Rand believes Xerox will be one of the first companies prepared to
test the value of American cultural diversity against Japanese
homogeneity in the global marketplace. If Xerox, whose dominance in
copying machines has been targeted by Japanese rivals, can prevail,
"we'd like to be able to stand up and say that we've done that as a
multicultural company," Mr. Rand says. "I think that will serve as a
beacon for the rest of American industry."

 
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