Finding Your Place In The World

Global diversity has become a corporate catchphrase. But does the concept of inclusion mean exclusion of African American workers in the U.S.?

globalization? Ted Childs, principal of South Salem, New York-based Ted Childs L.L.C., says not if minorities are properly prepared to compete. “Diversity is all the constituency groups, so African Americans have no entitlement to jobs here or jobs abroad.

Therefore, we’ve got to be more aggressive about preparing ourselves to be seen as global players.

And this is something that should start as early as junior high school, not after we’ve entered the workplace,”

says Childs, whose company coaches top businesses on global diversity strategies. “For example, China produces [more than] 200,000 engineers a year to our 75,000 engineers a year. Chinese kids are driven to math and science, and China has made a commitment that their children will learn to speak English. That means when they get ready to interview, they are going to be better prepared for jobs in a global marketplace.”

Adds Childs: “We’ve got to get our children comfortable with math, science, communication skills, and multiple languages so that when they go for interviews they can be seen as equally competitive in the global marketplace.”

Adderley agrees. Staying competitive, he asserts, means managers viewing global diversity as an opportunity for inclusion rather than exclusion. “So often when people look at the topic of diversity and inclusion, whether it’s white males, women, or people of color, the focus is on ‘In what ways I will lose out,’” Adderley explains. “We need to bring different perspectives and new ideas to bear that this is perhaps one of the best opportunities that can be out there. We need to be prepared and we need to educate ourselves so that we can take advantage of the changes that I think inevitably are going to become part of the fabric of doing business in the U.S. as well as around the world.”

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