Article_1 - 1. Title: Open the corporate closet to sexual...

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1. Title: Open the corporate closet to sexual orientation issues. By: Caudron, Shari . Personnel Journal , Aug95, Vol. 74 Issue 8, p42, 7p, 1 color, 2 bw; ( AN 9508174143 ) HR has traditionally balked at addressing gay and lesbian employee issues. But if you don't begin treating the concerns of this employee group openly and equitably and soon your company will face productivity decline, recruitment hassles and turnover highs. By now, everyone in Corporate America knows it's unacceptable to make disparaging remarks about women or African Americans or Hispanics or any other recognized minority group. We know how important it is for employees to feel valued regardless of their gender, color, religion or age. Pejorative terms are a no-no. Sexist jokes are intolerable. Racial humor isn't funny anymore. We're spending a lot of time and effort creating workplaces that value diversity because we don't want to lose talented employees to the competition or underuse anyone's skills or unique perspective. Besides, a diverse work force helps us do business in a diverse marketplace. Respecting individuals and valuing differences boosts the bottom line. But there's one minority group that's continually overlooked in our diversity discussions. A group whose challenges and unique perspective are so misunderstood that many people in human resources simply choose to ignore them. Unlike other minority workers, these employees are still the target of toxic humor, if not outright discrimination, harassment and scorn. Who are they? They are the countless gay and lesbian employees who spend each day working just like any other employee, but not necessarily being treated like one. HR can't afford to allow this attitude to continue. Companies that ignore gay and lesbian workplace issues are bound to end up paying the same penalties they would if they overlooked the special needs of any other minority group. Their ability to attract talented employees will suffer. They'll lose employees they already have to the competition. Recruitment and training costs will escalate. Morale and productivity will slide downward. You see, equitable treatment of this employee group is not just a matter of benevolence and good will--it's a matter of intelligence and good business. Companies are ignoring gay and lesbian voices in the diversity discussion. Claire Dobson [pseudonym], a lesbian who works for ComEd, a Chicago-based utility, describes her workplace in this way: "Gay jokes are common around here. I know how the others think." Which is why she chooses to keep her personal life a secret from co-workers, why she eats lunch alone every day and why she forgoes opportunities for professional networking. Same goes for her colleague Tony Morrow [pseudonym], a manager in a nuclear power station
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This note was uploaded on 12/03/2009 for the course ECON Econ111 taught by Professor Article during the Spring '09 term at École Normale Supérieure.

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Article_1 - 1. Title: Open the corporate closet to sexual...

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