In the 1990s, business leaders must become comfortable with cultural diversity in the workplace, says Paul Beatty, the newly appointed "executive in residence" at the University of Baltimore.
In his new job, the 49-year-old Mr. Beatty is responsible for developing executive training programs in connection with the university. These will be among the first business "outreach" programs for the school and many will focus on workplace diversity, says Mr. Beatty, former head of human resources for Chase Bank of Maryland.
NB By the year 2000, Mr. Beatty says, a much larger percentage of
the American work force will be made up of women, minorities and immigrants.
Through its new outreach programs, the University of Baltimore will help business organizations become sensitive to employee differences, thereby averting conflicts among workers and preserving productivity.
"Workers have to be a team. We have to be dedicated to the same results. If we're arguing with each other, we're obviously not going to work together," Mr. Beatty says.
On issues of gender sensitivity, Mr. Beatty says there is still room for improvement among many men working for Maryland businesses.
For example, he says, many men still are unaware that women consider it demeaning to be called a "girl" or "hon."
"The guys are just beginning to catch on," says Mr. Beatty, who was involved in diversity training programs at Chase Bank of Maryland, where he worked since the bank's inception in 1985.
By the same token, many business people need to examine the stereotypes they hold about those from other cultures and racial groups.
They should realize, for instance, that a co-worker from Latin America is no less competent because he has a foreign accent. "We have to educate employees to accept the cultures and traditions of other people."