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Diversity Impacting The Bottomline

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Should companies create a work environment that is a diverse and inclusive environment or be in compliance and meeting the numbers through Affirmative Action (AA) and Equal Opportunity and Employment (EEO)? Corporations can be industry leaders by reflecting the face of the customer or getting the heads in the doors to meet women and minority goals for government contracts. Companies who can reflect the face of the customer, can impact the bottom line.

It is important to define affirmative action and To understand this statement, companies have experienced some “faux pas” through there quest to increase sales. For instance, “Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they packaged their product in Africa similar to how they package in the United States. This included jars with a picture of a beautiful baby on the label. Later, they realized that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the label to show what is inside the jar, since most people can't read.1 Imagine what the consumer thought was in the jar. Gerber was not the only company to have made a blunder. Kentucky Fried Chicken had decided to enter into the Asian market. “However, KFC’s well known tag line “finger lick’n good” when translated meant “eat your fingers off”, not very appetizing. Another company, Clairol introduced the "Mist Stick", a curling iron, into Germany, only to find out that "mist" is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for a manure stick.” ( It is safe to say that management and the decision makers did not understand their customers and most likely, the decision makers did not reflect the face of their customer.

A workforce that reflects the face of the customer gives a company a competitive edge. The workforce is stronger and more robust. Often leaders walk through the doors with their own set of experiences which colors how they may look at the world and how they view problems. With a diverse set of lenses, it gives companies more ammunition to deal with challenges in the workplace and communities in which they do business. When customers see people that look like them and in some instances speak their language, they feel more at home. They will visit again and tell friends. If you think about the flip side of when a customer does not feel welcomed, the results could be disastrous. In 1993, Denny's restaurant



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