Monday, December 21, 2015

We Are All Different

One thing about each and every one of us we all think different and that is due to our own uniqueness because of our environment, our family, our gender, our race and our culture. They all go into shaping our way of thinking.

Back in the sixties you could always tell an IBM employee, they all looked like they came from a cookie cutter; buzz cut haircuts, a blue suit, white shirt, and a thin blue tie. And they were all men. Then into this culture came a person who wanted to transition and they let her go; she later became one of the leaders in the computer revolutions.
How transgender employees can help your business
The Star Tribune
By Holly Maholm
December 20, 2015

Now, not every company can afford to hire a superstar athlete to devote that kind of time to revitalizing a corporate culture. So let me tell you about my friend “Cindy.”

Cindy is a transgender woman. She is in her 50s and is very good at what she does (she’s an IT specialist). Cindy works in Cleveland for a large insurance company. (I won’t tell you the name of the company, but in the “ebb and flow” of memory, you may guess who it is.) So a year ago, she told her boss she wanted the company to accept and support her desire to “come out” as “Cindy” — so that she could begin living her life as her authentic female self.

So what Cindy’s boss did was amazing. He responded “Great! Go for it!” And then Cindy’s request was passed up to her boss’ boss, and then to the boss above that boss, and right on up to the Biggest Boss (who, in a big insurance company is a Big Kahuna indeed). And every one of them said “Great!” And since then, Cindy has become someone who — if I were still doing contracts for famous athletes — I would say is doing the job of a superstar athlete who:
  • Represents the company at conferences where new employees are recruited.
  • Is the face of progress and flexibility for the company.
  • Provides valuable community outreach by meeting with local leaders and the media telling them how she has been supported and encouraged by management.
  • As company spokesperson, stresses a “big” company’s values and responds to individual needs.
  • Delivers intangible assets in the form of company ­goodwill.
I am impressed — though not at all surprised — at how her company has used and promoted Cindy. The insurance business is one that cannot help but involve tens of thousands of customers, millions of transactions, and many more millions of payments received and checks mailed out.
When we attack a problem we use all of our life experiences to solve the problem, it does matter if it is an engineering problem or how to sell more widgets. We use our culture, an Asian with look at the problem different than a European, a black person with approach the problem differently than a white, and a trans person will look at the problem in another way than a cis gender person.

A research study “Does Diversity Pay?: Race, Gender, and the Business Case for Diversity” in American Sociological Review by Cedric Herring reported in found that.
Diversity is thus good for business because it offers a direct return on investment, promising greater corporate profits and earnings.
 It is likely that diversity produces positive outcomes over homogeneity because growth and innovation depend on people from various backgrounds working together and capitalizing on their differences.
The findings presented here are consistent with arguments that diversity is related to business success because it allows companies to “think outside the box” by bringing previously excluded groups inside the box. This process enhances an organization’s creativity, problem-solving, and performance.

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