Workforce America!

Loden, Marilyn; Rosener, Judy B.
January 1991
2020 Vision - Business Book Summaries;1991, Vol. 1 Issue 1, p1
Book Summary
Book summary
In Workforce America, the authors contend that-contrary to what some believe-managing diversity as an asset does not require expertise in cultural differences. The only prerequisite is a framework for analyzing the impact of personal values, beliefs, and achievements, group dynamics, and institutional policies, practices, and norms. Workforce provides such a framework. The concepts are so simple and so obvious, one realizes that all along, the whole of society has been missing the forest because of the trees. Of particular value is the clarity of the definitions and explanations when seen in the context of dominant group versus otherness group socialization and values. Terms such as diversity, homogeneity, myths, stereotypes, prejudice, etc.-terms whose meanings we take for granted-acquire an entirely new character. In addition to the personal/theoretical dimension, one is now able to see them in a more viable person/practical framework. Within the next decade, the demographics of the American workplace will continue to shift dramatically away from the Euro-American male majority to populations characterized by diversity and segmentation. This new plurality will include people of all races, ethnic backgrounds, ages, lifestyles, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and physical capabilities. This new workforce will no longer deny its identity to fit into the organization’s mainstream, but will demand respect and support from employers and colleagues. Workforce America allows us to acknowledge that there are differences among groups as well as individuals. It forces us to admit that we are all subject to prejudices, but that prejudice is a natural product of socialization, and that once we understand this fact we can begin to change it. Admitting the disease is the first step toward a cure. This book, born out of the authors’ convictions that people want to be part of the cure, but lack the awareness and the skills, provides the impetus for that important first step.


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