Interesting post on HBR today on the need for diversity, and resentment generated in organizations due to pushing diversity. Read it here.
“The rise of the rest”, Fareed Zakaria’s phrase, is upon us. BCG predicts a billion middle class Chinese and Indians by 2020. And it isn’t enough to keep selling Western products in Western ways to a bevy of new consumers. BCG underlines “the need for firms to adapt to local circumstances — not just in terms of what they sell but also in how they sell it.” That requires managers who understand local cultures and have enough clout to be heard so that headquarters adapt products and services. Yet most still insist on having “foreigners” adapt to “the way things are done” by headquarters.
i know of organizations (India and US) which win major awards on gender diversity, which do not have a single woman in leadership position… even an organization which did not have a single woman in high middle-management. Most of the diversity spiel is just lip-service….
Another observation: we have noticed many organizations where having a person from middle management reporting directly to someone at a different global location, is terrifying. With Leadership and top management, you often cannot help of course; but especially in India there is fear of (very specifically) middle or lower management reporting directly to the US / Europe. Nonsensical fear of course, but very much there.