After wondering out loud if the company was making the right decision, the editors of the Business Insider article evaluate several major executives based on whether they actually delivered any results on diversity. According to the newspaper, Chairman Arthur Sulzberger didn't get any bonus at all, and neither did CEO Janet Robinson. But Michael Golden, CEO of the New York Times Regional Group, got a bonus of 5%.
Affirmative action programs have been a hot bed of controversy, with high profile cases going all the way to the Supreme Court. But despite the attendant controversy the New York Times does not seem to back away from its commitment to diversity, at least not publicly. "By combining knowledge of different communities and cultures with superior abilities and management excellence, our company will strengthen our focus on the customer and become even more adept at speaking to audiences across multiple media platforms," said Scott Heekin-Canedy, president and general manager of The New York Times. "These efforts will help to fulfill our longterm strategy for growth and continue to successfully support the quality journalism that is at the heart of all we do."
The New York Times approach to diversity should be applauded by the millions of Americans. When a workplace embraces diversity, they are able to find solutions to problems that draw from different cultural backgrounds. The company is also able to serve a broader audience and sell its products globally.
The New York Times does well when it comes to promoting diversity, but its not the best. According to Forbes Magazine, Google is ranked as the number one company in America for minorities. The company has a workforce that is comprised of 36% minorities. But one thing about diversity is that having a large minority population is not always the same as having a large African American population. All companies can and should continue to increase the number of African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans in their workplaces, in addition to those from other countries. Also, the New York Times' decision to offer added compensation to those who hire minorities is a good policy, since a more diverse workforce can help the bottom line and executives should be rewarded for this.
When you are able to communicate with a bigger audience because of the diversity of your employees, you can sell more products and make more money. That is what shareholders like see. This is also what will help invigorate our economy.
Lawrence Watkins is the CEO of The Great Black Speakers Bureau. He is also an MBA student at Cornell University. For more information, please visit LawrenceWatkins.com.