On the surface, the desire for diversity in the office might seem to contradict the need for organizational unity. But Harvard’s associate chief diversity officer said he believes a diverse workforce is actually good for business.“Everything we know about diversity is that it leads to greater productivity, greater success rates, greater creativity around the workplace,” said Norm Jones, associate chief diversity officer in the Office of the Assistant to the President for Institutional and Diversity Equity. “Our efforts [at Harvard] around affirming identity are valuable for recruiting and retaining people.”Jones spoke about that value during a panel discussion Thursday titled “Diversity Across the Spectrum: Further Reflections on the Continuum of Inclusion.” The discussion was part of a broader series of initiatives focused on advancing staff diversity within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), and was attended by FAS faculty and staff. It included practical advice from a panel of experts on interacting within a diverse workforce.According to Jones, managers send important signals to employees by using inclusive language on signs, forms, and in conversation.“How we socialize in the workplace underscores who does and doesn’t matter,” he said.Supervisors should embrace differences in their offices and encourage open conversations, said Emelyn dela Pena, the College’s assistant dean of student life for equity, diversity, and inclusion.“We bring our whole selves into the workplace,” said dela Pena, who moderated the talk. “Opening up a conversation [about differences] creates an atmosphere where I feel I matter enough to talk about myself in this environment.”Indeed, conversations can get awkward and reflect outdated attitudes. Panelist David Stevens, executive director of the Massachusetts Councils on Aging, said that in the future, people are likely to work into their 70s.“How many of you think 75 is too old for sex, or that an old person is not good enough for the workforce?” he asked. “You need to check yourself any time you say something like that.”It also will be important to accommodate people of different capabilities. Older workers are just one example, Stevens said, but an example who prove it can be done. He pointed to a Harvard Business School (HBS) study showing a team of older workers who initially finished tasks slower than the younger ones, but after several simple job accommodations, caught up to and surpassed their juniors.Similarly, simple and thoughtful steps can make a difference to transgender employees and job applicants, said Van Bailey, director of the Office of BGLTQ Student Life at Harvard. Access to gender-neutral restrooms and application forms is respectful. So is referring to a person by the gender preferred he or she prefers ― even if that causes uneasiness.“A couple of minutes of your discomfort is nothing compared to my discomfort for a lifetime,” Bailey said.Building a diverse and inclusive environment is a lifelong endeavor, Jones said. “You never arrive, you never hit a ceiling, and it’s work we all have to do every day. … You can’t just check the diversity box.”Mary Thomas, director of disability services in the Office of the Assistant to the President for Institutional and Diversity Equity, said diversity is a key to the future of the productive workplace.“It’s all of the people who aren’t in the room [today], making it matter to them, that’s the trick,” Thomas said. “We have to figure out how get new faces at the table.”Andrea Kelton-Harris, senior human resources consultant at FAS, introduced the panel, which was held at the Forum Room at the Lamont Library.The diversity initiative within FAS includes recruitment efforts, the Career Plus career coaching and competency initiative aimed at building a diverse talent pipeline, Year Up internships that offers six-month stints to talented urban young adults, the Administrative Fellowship Program, and the FAS Diversity Dialogue Series.Chris Ciotti, associate dean for human resources, said that future dialogue series speakers will include David Livermore, an authority on cultural intelligence; Mark E. Fowler, managing director of programs for the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding; and Amy C. Edmondson, the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at HBS.
“We’ve allowed ourselves conversations with Real Madrid, confirmed by their coach I think wrongly, but the only thing we’ve communicated is that the player is our player and not for sale.” Asked if he felt Ancelotti was in the wrong, Villas-Boas said: “I think so, in my opinion. “Carlo is a person I appreciate a lot and we have great respect for each other, but bearing in mind this situation they have decided to make it public. “Normally in situations like this in England it is scrutinised by the (Football Association) with lots of care and attention. We have seen lots of people speak about a player that is not theirs and we are due some respect. “There are conversations because there is big, big respect between the clubs bearing in the mind the transfer last year (of Luka Modric) and the agreement last year of goodwill between the clubs. At the moment we are following from those instructions. “But of the player, bearing in mind the investment you have seen at Tottenham recently, he is a player who is decisive for us. We are building a very strong team and we are building for a future with Gareth. “In football, anything is possible but what we have communicated so far is that we are not willing to concede to their interest in the player.” Bale has not featured for Tottenham during the pre-season, with a foot injury reported to have been the cause for his absence from the Monaco trip. It is being reported that the player is unsettled amid Madrid’s continuing interest. Bale has been linked with a world record transfer to Madrid with reports of a deal worth up to £105million being all but finalised, but Spurs manager Villas-Boas insists he is continuing to plan for the coming season with Bale in his team, while admitting to some frustration with Madrid’s very public pursuit of the Wales international. “I think the rumours that anything is imminent are not true,” he told reporters at a press conference after Saturday night’s 5-2 friendly defeat to Monaco, before going on to criticise Real coach Carlo Ancelotti for publicly confirming that talks had taken place. Andre Villas-Boas insists the only talks between Tottenham and Real Madrid regarding Gareth Bale have been to tell the Spanish club he is not for sale. Press Association