The Corporation Faces Issues of Race and Gender
BARBARA R. BERGMANN
The employment policies of American corporations -- their handling of matters of race, ethnicity, and gender -- are bound to have a profound effect on the American economy and American society. These policies will affect the corporation's mode and efficiency of operation, its costs, and its flexibility. More than any other factors, they will determine whether large numbers of African-American and Hispanic American citizens will continue to have incomes and identities that set them apart from and distinctly below mainstream Americans. These policies will also play a big part in determining the position of women in our society.
It is by now a commonplace that the American workforce is highly diverse and getting more so. When business people discuss "workforce diversity," they are thinking principally of the decline in the proportion of the labor force that is non-Hispanic white male. One sentence in the Hudson Institute's Workforce 2000 has apparently caught and held the attention of many corporate managers: "White males, thought of only a generation ago as the mainstays of the economy, will comprise only 15 percent of the net additions to the labor force between 1985 and 2000." 1
The statement does not, of course, mean that by the year 2000 only fifteen out of one hundred people in the labor force will be white men. Nor,