8:47 am: I stole a glance at the clock on the wall and suddenly it dawned on me that I had less than 15 minutes to get to my next meeting in another part of the building. Barring interruptions, I figured that I could get there on time. I gulped down the remainder of my coffee, politely excused myself and left. On the way, I thought that I’d better stop off at the nearest men’s room given that I’d consumed two cups of coffee during the meeting I just left.
A new report shows that 80 % of financial industry arbitrators are male with an average age of 69. Contrary to claims made by the FINRA, its pool of arbitrators that decide virtually all investor disputes with financial professionals in the U.S. lacks diversity, according to a new report released by the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA). This diversity problem in arbitration is made worse by the almost total lack of transparency in how the FINRA arbitrators are recruited and what disclosures they make, said the report.
In the midst of the chaos I call life these days, I find that I frequently desire to lose myself in the pages of a good book. I have recently discovered a nugget of gold. This book has a way of reaching out and connecting to its readers through a series of compelling short stories. The author, Deborah Levine, is a phenomenal communicator of real life lessons through deep personal accounts of challenges that leave you wanting more. I was entertained as well as academically stimulated and felt as if I was experiencing a larger part of the world.
Have you ever stopped to explore what drives your life? What about your family history has prepared you for the work you feel most passionate about? In Inspire Your Inner Global Leader, Deborah Levine shares what it is about her Jewish American heritage that has made her the natural advocate, director and trainer of diversity that she is today. Her many stories are catalysts to illustrate and educate, but ultimately to inspire the reader to fulfill his or her potential as a diversity pro. By sharing her own story, Levine hopes the reader will come away with a new appreciation for storytelling as a tool for self-discovery and the enlightenment of others alike.
Waterbaby—a term I’d never heard before reading Deborah Levine’s book, Inspire Your Inner Global Leader. The word sits right there, on the first page of real text, next to its diverse dictionary definitions. I couldn’t get past it at first—I kept repeating it, over and over in my head. Waterbaby. Waterbaby. I read on, in hopes that I would soon understand. It wasn’t long before I realized that her book is an ocean of honest tales, mixed in with rich, personal history. I wanted to know more about what it meant to master diversity, and I really wanted to know what a waterbaby was. After taking an eager breath, I dove right in, and trust me, it was well worth it.
Stephen Zack is determined that the American Bar Association (ABA) does not give in to ‘diversity fatigue.’ Zack is the first Hispanic president of the American Bar Association in its 150 years. Not surprisingly, Zack has an ongoing passion for both the law and for the issue of diversity. Recent census numbers underscores Zack’s insistence that the U.S. legal profession to become more diverse. One in six Americans is now of Hispanic heritage; the Asian-American population has more than doubled in the last 10 years. But the increasingly multiracial American population is not yet accurately reflected in the U.S. legal system even though lawyers and judges should represent the community they serve. The ABA formed the first-ever Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities to address the disparity.
It would be dull if we didn’t have differences.
If we were all alike, that would be a shame.
How terribly boring the world would be, if we were all the same.
Coming from a diverse background, I have always had an interest in diversity and thought about it holistically. From a very young age I was very passionate about diversity and wanted to take in as much knowledge as I could about it. I recall speaking to various elders about the topic; some were family members, many were family friends and acquaintances. They spoke of the changes that were inevitable and only a matter of time. When an individual comes from a diverse background they tend to be more aware and in tune with diversity. That is not to say they are more knowledgeable about the topic than someone that is not from a diverse background, but they sense the emerging trends.
California was the first state to pass a law requiring health, dental and specialty insurance companies to provide translators “at least by phone,” ALTA.com reported in January. The bill gave insurance companies until January 1st to make these adjustments. Although this new policy will provide services to fill the diversity needs of people with Low English Proficiency (LEP), some object that insurance companies have found a new justification for outrageous billing prices. Could these cultural brokers be another example of additional costs in the age of diversity?
Most people don’t change, or willingly go along with change, because the change is “the right thing to do.” They do it if there is an important reason to change. Businesses don’t change their corporate cultures so that they retain women because doing so is nice for women. They do it if there is a compelling business reason to do so. The bottom line reasons to achieve gender diversity in leadership are exactly that—compelling.