History of Diversity in the workplace
In the workplace in the United States, diversity was virtually non-existent for the first 150 years. It changed the workplace from a white male domain to better reflect a multicultural society after World War 1, the 1920s Jazz Age and the voice of minority workers.
In 1948, President Truman officially desegregated the armed forces with Executive Order 9981, which made discrimination based on “race, color, religion or natural origin” illegal for all members of the armed services.
According to Wikipedia, The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88–352, 78 Stat. 241, enacted July 2, 1964) is a landmark civil rights and labor law in the United States that outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It prohibits the unequal application of voter registration requirements, and racial segregation in schools, employment, and public accommodations.
Black people were segregated to work in the service industry, such as servants, porters, and manual labor, according to early office museum.com. According to Experience by Simplicity, In the 1950s, more than 60% of the American workforce consisted of white males. These men were mainly the sole breadwinners in the household, expected to retire by age 65 and spend their retirement years in leisure activities. The American workforce is now a better reflection of the population with a mix of genders, races, religions, ages, and other background factors.
Diversity and Inclusion Training
Recently, Sephora closed its doors for an hour for Diversity and Inclusion Training. In April, the Black R&B star SZA said a Sephora employee called security to monitor her. SZA said she worked for Sephora before her break in the music industry. She was also in an advertisement for them as well. SZA claims that a Sephora employee in Calabasas, California had “called security to make sure I wasn’t stealing.” The news threatened to upset that carefully honed, diversity-focused image.
Every person of color has experienced a situation similar to this, no matter if they are rich, poor, or middle class. It’s that way of the world. It’s not just the white employees to follow you around the stores, its sometimes our own race. I have been in Sephora several times in Chicago, a few times in yoga pants, and they treated me fine.
Sephora has created a campaign, “We Belong to Something Beautiful” which they say has been in the works for over a year now. However, on June 5, 2019, Sephora closed all of its stores, distribution centers, and corporate offices in the U.S. on Wednesday for an hour to host inclusion workshops for all their employees. However, if you view their campaign its largely geared towards a celebration of diverse gender expressions. They are donating $1 from the sale of every product in this selection to support LGBTQ organizations. There is no mention of racial diversity. What did the diversity and inclusion training consist of?
Last year, Starbucks closed all of its stores for a half-day to conduct training on cultural bias, after two African American men were arrested in their store after attempting to use the restroom without having first bought something.
According to Inc.com, Dove, Heineken, H&M, Prada, and Gucci have all apologized after producing culturally insensitive advertising or products. Papa Johns, Disney, and Netflix have each severed ties with high-profile talent after their use of racist language. Nordstrom, Yale, Starbucks, and even Sephora has apologized for employees’ mistreatment of customers due to racial profiling and bias.
According to the New York Times, In 2014, Barneys New York agreed to pay $525,000 in costs, fees and penalties after a nine-month investigation by the state attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman. They found that the store profiled customers by race. (The inquiry triggered by complaints from two black patrons who described being detained after making expensive purchases.)
After the diversity and inclusive training at Sephora, Saturday Night Live star Leslie Jones blasted the brand on social media for mistreating her makeup artist, Lola Okanlawon and a friend at one of its Manhattan locations.
“She needed makeup and to learn how to apply. My makeup artist just called in tears of how bad they treated her and my friend’s wife by the salesperson and manager.
According to Study.com, Diversity training is an ongoing process to educate employees on the proper way to treat people of different backgrounds. The main goal of a successful diversity training program is to create a positive work environment.
Inclusion: All individuals are valued regardless of talents or skills. Equal value is placed on individuals regardless of their roles, job titles, or standing in the organization. In an inclusive workplace, there are policies in place for equality, human rights, and the welfare of employees; policies include fair recruitment and procurement.
Inclusion is the goal businesses want to achieve, and diversity is the measure of success.
If you have worked for any large company or organization, most likely you have had diversity training. As an Educator, even though I am part-time, we are required to watch an hour-long online video training session every year. The online sessions are monitored. If you leave your laptop, it stops. In the past, we were required to attend in-person sessions for training. When I worked for smaller businesses, this was not a requirement. Overall, I didn’t learn anything. I like to think of myself as well as diverse with all cultures. However, there may be a misconception as to what diverse training focuses on. Most people think it’s related to how to deal and work with Black people. However, the training that least, the ones I have had focuses on gender, race, class, disabilities, and sexual identity. There is even a training video that is all about “how to work with Millennial’s.”
A study by researchers — Frank Dobbin of Harvard, Alexandra Kalev of Berkeley, and Erin Kelly of the University of Minnesota researched over 829 companies over 31 years and showed that diversity training had “no positive effects in the average workplace.” Millions of dollars a year were spent on the training resulting in, well, nothing. Attitudes — and the diversity of the organizations — remained the same. “It gets worse; In firms where training is mandatory or emphasizes the threat of lawsuits, training actually has negative effects on management diversity.”
A Brief History of Diversity in the Workplace – Brazen. https://www.brazen.com/blog/recruiting-hr/a-brief-history-of-diversity-in-the-workplace-infographic.
Civil Rights Act of 1964 – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1964
Diversity and the Workplace | Experience. https://www.experience.com/advice/professional-development/diversity-and-the-workplace/
What’s the difference between diversity and inclusion …. https://www.collegerecruiter.com/blog/2015/09/18/whats-the-difference-between-diversity-and-inclusion/
Leslie Jones Is Done With Sephora, And Many on Reddit Are Too. https://www.dailydot.com/irl/leslie-jones-sephora/
Morgan-Smith, Kia. “Leslie Jones Blasts Sephora after Her Makeup Artist Left a Store in Tears after Being Mistreated.” TheGrio, TheGrio, 6 June 2019, thegrio.com/2019/06/06/leslie-jones-blasts-sephora-after-her-makeup-artist-left-a-store-in-tears-after-being-mistreated/.
Sephora to Close Stores for Companywide Diversity Training …. https://www.inc.com/sonia-thompson/sephora-to-close-stores-for-company-wide-diversity-training-research-shows-that-might-not-be-a-good-idea.html
“We Belong to Something Beautiful.” Sephora, http://www.sephora.com/beauty/Belong.