eNewsBrief: Hot Topics in Diversity
Nov. 2, 2012

Adopt these strategies to help advance diversity
Diversity Executive
Across the U.S., organizations are seeking diversity of culture, thought, race, ethnicity, gender, etc., to bring enhanced decision making to their boards and C-suites. Yet the reality often falls far short of the aspirations. Organizations that embrace and are proactive in promoting robust diversity initiatives are better positioned to attract and retain highly skilled leaders who bring cultural competence to the table. Here are some challenges faced by the health care industry as well as tips to move the diversity dial.More

SHRM: First-ever diversity and inclusion standards will be released by early 2013
Bloomberg BNA
The first-ever national standards creating foundational understandings and certification processes for corporate diversity and inclusion programs will be released in a matter of months and could be operational next summer, senior executives of the Society for Human Resource Management said during SHRM's recent 2012 Diversity and Inclusion Conference.More

Access to top talent drives business diversity efforts
The Wall Street Journal
Companies may be coming around to a business case for diversity and inclusion. Sixty-three percent of firms cited "access to top talent" as a main driver behind their diversity and inclusion initiatives, ahead of more traditional motivations like "fair treatment" (60 percent) and "public pressure" (21 percent), according to a new study. The findings indicate that companies are taking a more progressive view on workplace dynamics, says Lisa Blais, co-leader of the firm's U.S. Diversity Council.More

A growing focus on pregnancy discrimination
Human Resources Executive Online
While a patchwork of federal laws already prohibit discrimination against employees affected by pregnancy or childbirth, recent Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawsuits, as well as its recently announced enforcement plan, show a growing focus on defending mothers' rights in the workplace.More

8 workplace rights you may not know about
U.S. News & World Report
Do you know what rights employees have at work? You might assume that you can rely on your employer to follow the law in every circumstance, but in fact, many employers violate labor laws, often simply through ignorance. It pays to know what workers' rights are.More

The 10 do's and don'ts of conducting employee background checks
Most people might find it unseemly were you to run background checks on your potential dates prior to asking them out. But the same does not hold true when hiring a new employee. While taking a chance on a blind date might result in a bad evening, there's absolutely no doubt that making a wrong hiring decision can haunt your company, your other employees and your client base. The practice is so important that nearly seven out of 10 organizations claim they conduct criminal background checks on all job candidates.More

It's time to rethink human resources, the key to employee morale
Fast Company
Somewhere along the line everything started to change. Instead of seeing employees as people, some companies started to think of them purely as resources or commodities. Companies have to make tough choices. And some of those will undoubtedly involve their employees. When that happens, it's critically important for both morale and talent retention to evaluate everyone on your team as individual contributors — not line items on a spreadsheet, percentages or some predetermined dollar amount. Instead of focusing solely on the numbers, companies must take a more holistic approach to broader staffing issues by looking at 360-degree feedback, performance reviews and the impact those changes will have on specific departments and the organization based on each individual.More

Many American workplaces are becoming more segregated
The Washington Post
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on an affirmative action case that once again raised the contentious question of how best to create equal opportunity for all Americans. Interestingly enough, many on both sides of the debate over the University of Texas' use of race in college admissions seemed to accept that the United States has been steadily growing towards greater equality over the past generation. But research just completed for a new book, "Documenting Desegregation," tells a different story. In many workplaces, the United States has fallen off the path to equal employment opportunity, with racial and gender segregation on the rise in many firms and industries.More

How to navigate a difficult hiring landscape
Diversity Executive
There are two groups few employers consider a legal risk, but which are a source of considerable interest with federal and local legislatures and regulators — the unemployed and those with problematic credit revealed in pre-employment credit checks. It is axiomatic: Employers are seeking candidates who are most qualified for an available position. Equally popular is the belief that past performance is one of the best indicators of future performance. With these tenets in mind, there is a growing concern that employers automatically exclude unemployed workers when filling an open job. More

Workplace bullying is all too real, victims say
Orlando Sentinel
Bullying has been around since the first schoolyard. But its fledgling cousin, workplace bullying, is a work in progress with legal and academic experts seeking to define it, even as employee complaints of bullying grow. Employers have been left flat-footed by the new species of worker grievance. About 5 percent of employers have recognized bullying as a unique problem and only 3 percent have taken steps to address it, according to a survey conducted by the Workplace Bullying Institute in Bellingham, Wash.More