Addressing the Needs of a Changing Workforce, Essay Example
As is pointed out in Case4 (Deloitte & Touche), women do not come right out and say what they want. They approach it from the back door, so to speak. They believe that others should guess what they want by their behaviour. They are not open and direct in their conversations and tend not to speak much at gatherings and meetings, even when the issues concern them.
Not all work lends itself to being carried out at home. Not much can replace actual face-to-face interaction in offices, during lunch, and at exclusive fitness and golf clubs. Good networking is important to obtaining and retaining clients. Robert should advise Sylvia of departmental meetings, and meet with her personally, but the main point is that she is not physically available when needed and so gradually colleagues and clients go to someone who is present leaving the flex worker isolated.
Obviously Mike’s membership to an exclusive men’s fitness club where major deals are made is more valuable than Sylvia’s. To the extent that those exclusive fitness and golfing memberships remain available, women will be at a disadvantage—unless they get their own!
When businesses cannot retain women employees, they lose money because of high turnover. With a disproportionately low number of female employees, female clients may not be very attracted to such a firm, fearing discrimination and, perhaps, even harassment.
The key players in the case are Robert Mickel, the head of one of the project departments and Michael Schriver and Sylvia Wagner, both senior accountants. Sylvia, mainly due to her gender, was sometimes at a disadvantage as in the case when Robert gave each fitness club memberships, but Michael’s was at an exclusive men’s club where major deals were made.. When Sylvia had been at the firm for two years, a promotion came up that both Michael and Sylvia wanted, and Michael obtained.
Sylvia was hurt and puzzled that she did not receive the promotion. Robert decided on Michael. Robert had noticed that Sylvia did not speak up at meetings even when there were contentious issues that concerned her projects. Mike usually handled that diplomatically speaking his mind and convincingly arguing his position. Robert had been happy about his decision believing Sylvia would be also because she would have more time with her husband. When Sylvia leaned on her husband saying that Robert must have known that she wanted it, Paul asked, “Did you ever tell him that you wanted it? Well, no” (ibid.) Sylvia had difficulty stating things in an open and direct manner. Holmes, Tannen, Cameron & DeFrancisco discuss some of the differences in gender communication and how that can result in miscommunication.
Alternate courses of action would be to have communication workshops since it is not only gender that is responsible for miscommunication but also the increasingly diverse workplace. Ribbink (2003) talks, about “Seven Ways to Better Communicate in Today’s Diverse Workplace.” Women’s self-esteem needs to increase in the workplace to enable them to perform their best.
Deloitte & Touche. (2007). Addressing the needs of a changing work force. Case4. Elsevier, Inc.
Holmes, Tannon, Cameron & DeFrancisco. Gender and Interaction Theory. Retrieved on May 27, 2012, from http://aggslanguage.wordpress.com/gender-interaction-theory.
Ribbink, Kim. (March 02, 2003). Harvard Business School. Working Knowledge for Business Leaders. Seven ways to better communicate in today’s diverse workplace—Seven tips for communicating in today’s diverse working place. Retrieved on May 27, 2012, from http://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/3266.html.
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