Spencer Owens

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Spencer Owens & Co.
How well has Spencer Owens done in its diversity efforts?  How well are they doing now? As of 1995, Spencer Owens was considered as having one of the most diverse staff in their industry of foreign and economic development.  Not only was 50% of staff women, but also 30% of the firm were people of color.  The leaders of the corporation committed themselves to hiring and promoting a diverse staff.  From an outside point of view, Spencer Owens seemed to be pioneers of embracing a diverse workforce.   However, internal issues quickly escalated because of racial tension in the office, causing senior management to question the current organizational structure.  A survey was issued to senior management, program staff and the support staff to identify gaps in their affirmative action program.  To the company’s dismay, there were many racial issues and discrimination among all three groups.       The survey addressed the commitment to the mission, quality of race relations, discrimination, prejudice and attitudes towards diversity policies.  Most of the organization was fully aligned with working for the company because they believed in the mission and values.  However, the percentages differed drastically when addressing race relations and discrimination.  When the question concerning pleasing black staff was asked, it seemed senior management was in agreement that Spencer Owens could not please their black staff no matter what the effort, although program and support staff do not agree to the same extent.

Why is the firm now having trouble?  What is the root cause (or causes)? The issue of race relations at Spencer Owens was highlighted when the new executive director, Agnes Richards, fired an African-American manager in Human Resources.  The employees were quick to jump to conclusions and make the firing a racial discrimination case.  Although this was not the true root cause, it was the situation that caused the employees to feel discriminated against and comfortable enough to speak out against it. This example enabled the leaders at Spencer Owens to realize they needed to take action.  Although the company took all opportunities to embrace diversity and promote within, it seemed that the employees did not see it as a fair nor effective means to running a business.  Much work needs to be done from senior management level down in order to conquer the resistance that had been building within the teams. A reason for the resentment of employees at Spencer Owens could stem from the fact the company made such a vocal point of addressing diversity.  To further exemplify the point, the company could have been damaging its own reputation by boasting about having the most diverse staff in its industry.  It divides the corporation by making the specific distinction between different racial groups. Mike

Cityside Financial Services
Basically, the company hired a large amount of minority workers and seemingly gave them the same positions and advancement opportunities, which worked in the beginning.  However, as time went on the two departments which comprised the sales division were essentially segregated; one was mainly black and the other was mainly white.  I hope these answers help in answering the later questions.

How well has the Sales Division at Cityside done in its diversity efforts? How well are they doing now? Initially, Cityside did great in its efforts to establish a diverse workforce. The company was able to achieve a relatively high percentage of minority employees in all levels of its corporate hierarchy, and everyone was presented with the same advancement opportunities. It appeared that employees were very satisfied with this corporate structure, and the company gained a great reputation for its diverse and multicultural staff. Currently, as far as maintaining a diverse workforce, the company is still doing great. However, the way that diversity was handled has led to some serious issues for...
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