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Diversity

October 10, 2012

Diversity is a valuable and essential factor of businesses that can positively affect the work environment, the production, and success of company. As we have learned in class, creating diversity, managing diversity, valuing diversity, and leveraging diversity is a priority that is required of businesses today in order to be respected in the market place by its own workers and by consumers. In class, we learned ways of managing diversity so that minority groups feel included and valued, and treated equally as any other employee. They must be given the same respect and responsibilities so that they want to stay with their employer, and show engagement and commitment in their job.

A good example of this is Time Warner Inc., which is one of the global leaders in the media and entertainment industry. Its top named divisions include Home Box Office, Time Inc., Turner Broadcasting System and Warner Bros. Entertainment. It strives at keeping its diverse pool of consumers entertained and connected through its television networks, film entertainment, and print and online publishing divisions. Recently in April of 2012, it was announced that Time Warner Inc. made it on Diversity Inc.’s Top 50 List of Most Diverse Companies, ranking number 40. This is the 12th year that Diversity Inc. has held a Top 50 Competition, and it is the 3rd year that Time Warner Inc. made it on the list. Time Warner Inc. demonstrates the importance of having a diverse workforce, where its employees feel like they are valued for their unique differences and can contribute to the company. This motivates the employees to use their unique differences and strengths to work to their greatest ability and to create innovative ideas that would gain the interest of a diverse consumer market. The Time Warner Inc. website better describes the importance of diversity in the mission and success of the company,

“We believe that people from different cultures, ethnicities, sexual orientations, disability communities, geographic regions, viewpoints, and genders bring important values and qualities to the creation of Time Warner’s products…We work to make sure that we are not only attracting and hiring the best and most diverse talent, also are retaining that talent as appropriate by creating an inclusive work environment. As of the end of 2007, all Time Warner divisions include identity, expression, or other legally protected classification in all EEO non-discrimination or anti-harassment policies.”

Time Warner also recognizes the need to change and adapt to new workforces and to keep up with modern times. Therefore every three years, Time Inc. conducts an in-depth Diversity Content Review of its properties of titles both in print and online topics. Their goal is for their topics to cover issue that can relate to a wide-range of communities and sources. Some direct examples of how Time Warner Inc. has catered to diverse audiences are with programs like HBO Latino that has offered Spanish-language programming since November 2000, and with Time Inc.’s Essence magazine has been the most respected and established magazine for African-American women for 35 years. Therefore, it is obvious that internal diversity and diversity in the market place are both vital to the success of Time Warner’s Inc.,

“In recent years, growth in the media industry has come increasingly from international and U.S.-based multicultural markets. Audiences are becoming more diverse, both in ethnicity and nationality, and are expecting greater diversity in content. We are therefore striving to become more diverse as a company, both in our content and in our workforce. We believe that achieving more diversity in these areas will enable us to identify the best growth opportunities, deliver the best customer value, and create the greatest returns for our stockholders. Accordingly, we are working to continue to foster and promote an internal culture that values diversity of talent and ideas, as well as to identify and aggressively pursue growth opportunities in multicultural and international markets,” (http://www.timewarner.com/our-company/corporate-responsibility/diversity/).

It is crystal clear that the plan and importance that Time Warner Inc. places on diversity is an ideal model that should be followed by other companies that are lacking in this aspect.

Another way of improving diversity in a company is by hiring a Chief Diversity Officer to be in charge of all diversity matters. According to an article by Diversity Inc. titled “How Many Companies Have a Chief Diversity Officer?” there has been a dramatic increase in the interest of purposefully managing diversity in the last five years,

“Of the companies that participate in the DiversityInc Top 50 competition, the percentage of companies that have a “chief diversity officer” (that specific title) has risen from 12 percent five years ago to 30 percent today. However, 96 percent of the DiversityInc Top 50 have a dedicated executive leading diversity efforts, versus 46 percent of the DiversityInc Top 50 companies five years ago. Further, 86 percent of the DiversityInc Top 50 have diversity leaders with titles at director or above and including “diversity” in their title.”

It is exciting to see the higher attention and importance that more companies are placing on diversity of the workforce and of its consumers. Because at the end of the day, everyone wants to be given a fair chance to succeed, to contribute, and to add value to a company or to the marketplace. Every person wants the same opportunity to apply for a job, to apply to college, to buy a certain product, and to be able to show their strengths that set them apart from their competitors.
As a group of college students, we agree that diversity is essential to bringing a well-rounded perspective and pool of knowledge to the table. Whether it is in a business setting, or at Wake Forest University, it is the diverse pool of employees and students that create an eclectic and diverse learning environment:

Lindsay’s example: While working as an intern last summer, she noticed that the company’s work environment placed a high emphasis on giving an equal level of respect to both men and women. They openly discussed how they would not tolerate women being treated less than their male coworkers. This was evident by the number of female executives in top-level positions they had in the company.

Maddie: Her mom is half Peruvian and half Spanish and is proud to represent the minority Latino population with her background. She is part of various Diversity groups in her company. She has been invited to several Diversity events with other companies that strive to acknowledge the minority population and update them on the increasing size of minorities in the workplace. One such event was a gala for minorities in several large companies, and famous Latino celebrities such as Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez performed at the event. She always has been very honored and excited about these events that seek to inspire and empower Latinos in the workplace. There was also a time when her mom was getting paid less than her male counterparts. She decided to speak to someone about it and got the situation fixed. However, it is shocking that in today’s age, a difference in pay still exists between men and women who hold the same position.

Diversity allows each person to bring their set of skills, experiences, and knowledge to the environment. Their individual contributions can be a wealth of new information and knowledge for someone else. We learn just as much from textbooks, and set skills, and job descriptions as we do from our coworkers and colleagues’ examples. Therefore we appreciate and value the importance that Wake Forest University places on diversity in regards to race, economic class, geographic hometown, intelligence level, sexuality, religion, intelligence level, interests, and skill-set.

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