Q. How would Xerox define diversity?
Xerox is the world’s largest technology and services company in the computer that specialized in document management with recent annual revenue of $21.6 billion. The company defines diversity as equal success. According to Anne Mulcahy, Xerox Chairman and former CEO,”Diversity is about more than race and gender. It’s about more than numbers. It’s about inclusion. Diversity means creating an environment where all employees can grow to their fullest potential.” Employee with different ways of thinking and perceiving the world are able to create innovative solutions in there. Diversity has the power to promoting cultures of inclusion that help create a more equity and opportunity-based environment for all. Therefore, for Xerox diversity is equal and can led to the company’s success.
Q. How has its definition changed over the years?
Diversity has become a way of life at Xerox. The company culture by valuing creative, motivated employees with different backgrounds and perspectives have been strengthening Xerox equal work environment and create business opportunities. There is no question that Xerox’s commitment to diversity will go to be stronger ever than before. For a business like Xerox, the differences of in a way of thinking and idea contribution by diversity of workforce are valuable for the company innovation. According to the case study, Joseph C. Wilson took proactive steps to create a more diverse workforce in response to race riots in the 1960s in U.S. With that, the number of African American hired increased in effort to achieve equality among its workforce.
Throughout the 1970s Xerox established an internal affirmative action office and began to hire significant number of minority employees. This proven by Barry Rand an African American wan named the first minority president of a division in Xerox. In line with diversification in the 1980s, the company starts to hired female in their workforce. During the influx of women in its workforce Xerox start to recognize women struggle balancing work and family commitments. In response for that situation, Xerox Human Resources initiated ‘flexi-time’ and other HR policies to maintain high level of productivity and satisfaction among its workforce.
Q. What are the seven reasons why Xerox should be motivated to diversity their workforce? Illustrate how Xerox shows it values workplace diversity.
Diversity in the workforce has become a major concern in today’s society. Because of its advantages, many businesses are looking to diversify their workforce. Diversity is also seen as a concept where differences can be a powerful resource. Based on the case facts, Xerox value diversity as the most priceless resource to drive the company towards achieving its goals. There are seven reasons why Xerox should be motivated to diversify their workforce:
1) Nature of Business
It is stated clearly in the case fact; the support of this kind of business is fresh ideas. By applying managing diversity appropriately, Xerox believes they have the key to achieve critical business results.
2) Enhanced Productivity
Innovation keeps Xerox at the forefront of their industry therefore they need people from different background, gender ,age, skills, abilities, and education background in order to drive the company. Productivity will increase when different people from a different background are working together to achieve Xerox common goals.
3) Improve Quality of End Products
Despite the economic slowdown in technology spending, Xerox is still the number one player of the computer industry due to diversify its workforce empowered a small but good entrepreneurial team to create a better services for their customer.
4) Competitive Advantages
According to the case study, no competitor can match Xerox’s services expertise, which includes, digital system-color and black-and-white printing and publishing system, digital presses and ‘book factories’, advanced and basic multifunction systems, laser and solid ink network printers, copier and fax machines.
5) Reduced Discrimination
At Xerox women and minorities make up more than 50% of the workforce and 48.2% of Xerox senior executives are women or people of color or both. This motivates this kind of employees in a way that they feel like they been accepted and needed in the organization.
6) More Knowledge Sharing
Employees can share cultural traits, market demographics and help develop companies develop robust knowledge management and market intelligence systems.
7) Legal Requirement
In America’s History of discrimination, there are laws and organizations that help protect minorities from discrimination such as Affirmative Action and (EEOC) Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Department). There are many controversial issues going on today suggesting that these laws and organizations are causing reverse discrimination in the workforce. In fact, Xerox has been rated as one of the Top 10 companies in hiring minorities, women, disabled, and gay and lesbian employees by Fortune, Forbes, Working Mother, Latino Style, and Enable magazines.
Q. Does Xerox embody or defy the “leaking pipeline” phenomenon? Why?
The societal norms of ‘women stay home and men goes to work’ are deep-rooted in woman mind since from an early age. That why a lot of woman tend to choose family over career when they started to have their own family although they have a high qualification and experience that can make them to sit in the highest ranks of organization. This circumstances yield a “leaking pipeline” phenomenon within the workplace. There are several factors why the “leaking pipeline” appeared, and one of them because of the workplace are not accommodating to female workers especially female mothers’ worker.
According to the case study, Xerox is defy the phenomenon because there are about 48.2% in senior executive level are women, people of colour or both worked and giving an equally chances of stepping a ladder to sit at highest position in organization. Xerox valued the diversity and individual differences among their employees and also the job design such as work-balance approaches in the Xerox giving a lot of chance for woman to give a best work performance. And because of that, Xerox has been selected among one of the Top 10 companies in the world in hiring woman by the famous and well known establish magazines such as Fortune, Forbes and others. Because of the opportunity given to women are open equally in Xerox, in the year of 2007, the first female president has been selected. In the of 2009, the first female CEO was named and it became the company history of “first female-to-female hand off in Fortune 500 history.
Q. Compare Xerox to other Fortune 500 companies. How are women and minorities represented at the highest levels of each organization?
In comparison, Xerox to other Fortune 500 companies the group would like to take IBM – Technology Industry, a leading technology and services organization of nearly 400,000 highly skilled professionals working in 170 countries. Many of Fortune 500 companies have a long history of commitment to diversity and have consistently taken the lead on the diversity policies long before it was required by laws including IBM globally.
Workforce diversity in IBM policies perspective (extract from IBM website); The employees of IBM represent a talented and diverse workforce. Achieving the full potential of this diversity is a business priority that is fundamental to our competitive success. A key element in our workforce diversity programs is IBM’s long-standing commitment to equal opportunity.
IBM is implementing an Employment Opportunity (EEO) as an employer and does not discriminate in any employer/employee relations based on race, color, religion, sex, sex orientation, national origin, age, disability, or veteran’s status. IBM around the world invent and integrate hardware, software and services to help forward-thinking enterprises, institutions and people everywhere succeed in building a smarter planet. In order to success, IBM needs diversity of thought. And, that means diversity of people – creative tension, opposing ideas, different outlooks and unique backgrounds. These are the core ingredients for IBM holds as competitive advantage. By practicing this diversity, IBM been recognized as a leader in the employment and advancement of women as well as people with disability and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees.
By leveraging this competitive advantage, IBM would be able to find solutions to global problems. By focusing on women and minorities represented at the highest level, IBM globally has seen substantial growth in the number of women and minorities make up about 44% of its workforce. Sixty-five percent of our women executives are working mothers, and IBM has 16 female country managers in few locations world-wide. Each of these women demonstrates outstanding leadership qualities and is achieving superior business results in their work performances. By year end 2007, 18% of IBM’s executives were women, where, it represented 31% of all promotions into first line management, 22% into second line management, and 17% into third line management. For IBM, the excellence and achievement shown were the only criteria for success.
While, Xerox’s is proudly to state that women and minorities make up more than 50% of its workforce globally. And, about 48.2% of Xerox senior executives are women, people of color, or both. Specifically, the employee races contributed of roughly 30% African- Americans, Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans. Over the time, in 2007, Ursula Burns was named the first African-American female president of Xerox Corporation. Followed in July 2009, a woman Anne M. Mulcahy is appointed as CEO. It was the first female-to-female hand-off in Fortune 500. With Ursula Burns at the helm, there’s no doubt about it – Xerox’s commitment to diversity is still going strong. Point-of-view on a diverse workforce expressed by Xerox Chairman Anne M. Mulcahy and IBM General Manager Glen Boreham (extract from text book and website); XEROX
I’m convinced diversity is a key to success. Experience tells us that the most diverse companies – companies ruled by a hierarchy of imagination and filled with people of all ages, races, and backgrounds – are most successful over time. Somehow, diversity breeds creativity. Maybe it’s because people with different backgrounds challenge each other’s underlying assumptions, freeing everybody from convention and orthodoxy. We provide a shining proof point that diversity in all its wonderful manifestations is good for business…good for our country…and good for people. “Diversity at IBM means that the difference is expected, respected and encouraged so that every employee can be productive, innovative and achieve to their fullest potential. Our mission is to help create and maintain an IBM culture, climate, and environment in which all people feel welcomed and valued; and to maximize the utilization of our diverse talent, and position IBM as the company of choice within our community and to our clients and our workforce.”
Overall, both companies are practicing good diversity in their company to protect women and minorities as Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) been applied to ensure equal labor workforce in organization.
Q. How can these statistics be improved upon?
From our group’s opinion, these statistics can be improved by helping the employees become more effective in the workplace through meeting and teaming, networking, mentoring and coaching, community outreach, planning and implementing social, cultural, and educational events, developing professional skills and enhancing recruitment and welcoming programs. Women and minorities employees felt that working home and flexibility had a positive impact on work productivity, morale and commitment. To face the challenges of managing work and life effectively and continues to provide Flexible Working Options for employees; part time/job share, individual work schedules, compressed work weeks, working from home and telecommuting.
For instance, in learning and development stage, both companies studied must/or have to invested in many career tools, resources, and processes for their managers and employees professional development level. In details process, employees can do plan their development, gain skills and experience, and track their progress specifically. While, the managers have to provide support for the employees development enhancement through specific workshops and programs and training sessions in relate to diversity and working cross culturally.
Another good example given, by provide flexible workplace culture. The idea is to allows all employees to enjoy; continued participation in the workforce without gender, race, age-related barriers (or, diversity concern); to give employees flexible working hours and responsibilities; a variety of work style options; to introduce greater lifestyle choices; continued learning and job satisfaction; and, continue ongoing connection to the workplace community. By doing so, more participation from women and minorities can be represent at the highest level of company. Several ongoing initiatives could be implements for women participation in highest level; by briefly explain on career development – early career development program; to provide workshop on mindset change for managers on the value that woman could bring to the company, and, may lead to Chief Executive Women Talent Development program; obviously, by looking on annual salary equity reviews by gender to remove possible bias. As been practiced in major of companies, these ongoing initiatives showed pure results on higher women participation on higher level.
One of major ongoing initiative for minorities’ participation in higher level is by implementing mentor-mentee program. We are strongly believed that, continues commitment to minority/disability employment through proactive and holistic approach, resulting in minority/disability representation throughout all business departments/units and at all levels from graduate to senior roles within the company.