Diversity

Building a multicultural workforce is about more than the letter of the law. Articles on leadership, marketing and entrepreneurship.

Marketing to Muslims poses a challenge for retailers

Leafing through a Best Buy flier over the holiday season, Celena Khatib spotted a small greeting near the bottom of the page: “Happy Eid al-Adha.”

The good wishes for the important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims seemed a milestone in U.S. marketing. “I finally felt that they are recognizing Muslims like we are a part of this community,” said Khatib, 31, a suburban Detroit mother of two. “We live here, we spend our money here.”

But on Best Buy’s website, people around the country posted contrasting views. “You insult all of the heros and innocent who died 911 by celebrating a holiday of the religion that said to destroy them!” wrote one. Many others said they would no longer shop at Best Buy.

The controversy underscores the continuing obstacles that retailers and other companies face in marketing to a U.S. Muslim population estimated at more than 2.3 million by the Pew Research Center.

Read more at Marketing to Muslims poses a challenge for retailers – Los Angeles Times, 25 Jan 2010

Flickr photo credit: al-Taqi [feeling surrealistic]

By | June 2, 2010|Blog, Diversity, Marketing|0 Comments

Beyond Gender and Negotiation to Gendered Negotiations

Women often negotiate over issues that men take as givens—opportunities for promotion and training, mentoring, client assignments, partnership arrangements, resources, and office space, among others. When and if these negotiations occur, they take place in the context of a particular negotiated order—cultural patterns and work practices that are the result of past interaction and negotiation. What is of interest here is how these patterns and practices might shape our understanding of gender and negotiation in the workplace and the implications of this framing for research and practice. We explore second generation gender issues, or how gender and gendered relationships shape negotiated orders such that they can have differential consequences for women’s and men’s negotiations. …more at Beyond Gender and Negotiation to Gendered Negotiations – HBS Working Knowledge, published 19 March 2009.

Flickr photo credit: The Taste of Rain

By | March 26, 2009|Blog, Diversity|0 Comments

Mixed Signals: The State of Black Entrepreneurship

The gap in businesses ownership rates between whites and blacks is widely regarded as evidence of inequality. How bad is it really, and what can be done?

When he started his company, Donald Coleman had nothing but his personal savings and a few faithful friends to fund it. Twenty years later, GlobalHue, Coleman’s marketing communications agency that focuses on minority consumers, closed 2008 with $825 million in billings. Numbers like that earn Coleman membership in an all-too-exclusive club: He is a successful black entrepreneur. And he has an idea why there aren’t more people like him.

“I think it’s quite evident that the lack of access to capital is the reason why there aren’t more minority entrepreneurs,” he says.

Coleman’s experience resonates with studies like Race and Entrepreneurial Success, published last year by University of California, Santa Cruz economics professor Rob Fairlie and research associate Alicia Robb. They analyzed confidential data from the U.S. Census Bureau to paint a comprehensive picture of minority business ownership, and the results, at least for black entrepreneurship, are bleak. Overall, the number of black business owners is far lower than the national average, and their businesses also “tend to have lower sales, fewer employees and smaller payrolls, lower profits, and higher closure rates.” ….more at Mixed Signals: The Progress of Black Entrepreneurship – Business Ownership – Entrepreneur.com, published 9 March 2009.

Photo credit: Royalty-Free/Corbis

By | March 16, 2009|Blog, Diversity|0 Comments