STEVE INSKEEP, host:
To try to answer that question, let's talk about a company that was forced to face that very question. In 2001, African-American employees sued the giant company Sodexo, and soon afterward, the company hired a new head of diversity. We're going to listen to her story this morning.
AMOS: But why did she go to work in diversity at a company that was being sued for discrimination?
INSKEEP: Well, she explains that she wanted to make a difference. Let's listen to Rohini Anand.
Ms. ROHINI ANAND (Senior Vice President and Global Chief Diversity Officer, Sodexo): It was a very painful thing. …show more content…
Ms. ANAND: So for instance, the Asian network group, you know, one of the things that they found was that sometimes Asians are rated lower in terms of communication skills, so they actually partnered with Toastmasters to help to develop their membership.
INSKEEP: Communicating, you mean with fellow employees? Whats an example of what youre talking about?
Ms. ANAND: Well, an example might be for instance, and I want to be mindful that we're not stereotyping here, you know. I am an Asian-American. I dont think that everybody falls into these patterns, but they're some cultures where it is not appropriate to sell yourself, it's not appropriate to brag and it might be more appropriate to talk about the team.
INSKEEP: In fact, she thinks about a job candidate that she herself recently interviewed for possible promotion.
Ms. ANAND: It's a candidate who's internal, who I know is extremely good. Every time I asked her about her contributions, she was extremely reluctant to share with me what she had contributed. You know, this was an...
INSKEEP: What was her background?
Ms. ANAND: This was an Asian woman. You know, I found that I had to use different techniques than I would normally have in order to get the same information out of her. You know, that's one