Engaging White Men in Diversity Initiatives Has Become an Essential Component to Successful Diversity Efforts

Portland, OR, July 28, 2006 --(PR.com)-- In many firms and companies today the terms “diversity” and “white men” are often practiced as an oxymoron, offering something for everyone but white men.

As a result, white men in corporate America often report feeling that they have been largely excluded from diversity and inclusion efforts in organizations. This feeling of exclusion leaves many white men angry, confused, or indifferent to their company’s own diversity initiatives. At the same time, white male culture remains the norm in American corporate culture today and white women, people of color, and other non-majority groups often perceive that, as a result of being members of the dominant corporate culture, white men have always “had a seat at the table”.

White men are often unaware of the advantages they receive or the unique perspectives they carry. -- from being white and/or male -- and how this impacts their partnerships at work with white women, people of color, and other white men. This leaves many white males left on the sidelines in diversity and inclusion initiatives. This sidelining of white males creates a gap that undermines many well-intentioned diversity programs.

Companies have now begun to address this gap by proactively engaging white males in leadership and diversity initiatives that acknowledge the positive role white men can play in partnering to develop more inclusive and productive corporate cultures.

Bill Proudman, Founding Partner of White Men as Full Diversity Partners (WMFDP, LLC®) say’s “the important thing is to begin to engage white males in a conversation about their experiences with diversity.” He also says that it’s important “to provide white males and others with the chance to learn more about the cultural norms that have dominated white male cultures and therefore many corporate cultures.” Proudman says that WMFDP LLC®, a culture change consulting firm, has been leading the effort for over 10 years. WMFDP’s mission is to engage white males as allies rather than adversaries to diversity. One way to learn more about this topic is to read some of the material that Proudman and his partners have authored.

WMFDP is making available their latest article series, White Men and Diversity, originally published in Diversity & the Bar magazine from the Minority Corporate Counsel Association in 2005. These six articles address the critical issues of leadership and workplace diversity with an engaging look at the role of white men in diversity and inclusion efforts.

Many white men have become angry, confused or indifferent by diversity efforts in corporate America. This article identifies many of the conditions that exist in corporate America and white male culture in general that contribute to this situation.

WHITE MEN AND DIVERSITY: Examining and Understanding American White Male Culture
This article takes an in-depth look at white male culture in corporate America examining the history and implications of a culture so pervasive that it is often invisible, and laying a foundation for building the understanding that is necessary for any successful diversity partnership to move forward.

What White Men Often Don't Get and What White Women and People of Color Often Don't Understand
Over the last 10 years WMFDP has talked with hundreds of business leaders who value, and yet struggle to create, partnerships that span differences in the workplace. This article uses these conversations, and more, to examine the impact of white male culture in the workplace. It addresses some of what we don't know about the dynamics of diversity that are essential in our understanding of vital work partnerships.

What White Men, White Women and People of Color Can do to Make a Real Difference in Their Workplace Diversity partnerships.
This article is directed at both white men, and white women and people of color, offering strategies for individuals to help them build successful diversity partnerships.

What's it Gonna Take: Critical Skills for Courageous White Male Leaders.
The building of successful diversity partnerships, which include white men, in organizations requires commitment from courageous white male leaders. This article outlines the critical leadership skills necessary for a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

WHITE MEN AND DIVERSITY: What Works and What Doesn't: Ensuring that Organizational Diversity and Inclusion Efforts Engage White Men
This article outlines the necessary strategies for ensuring the successful engagement of white males in an organization's diversity and inclusion efforts, and offers words of advice on potential barriers to successful implementation.

The White Men and Diversity articles are available as downloadable PDF files individually or in a six-article set and can be purchased online at http://wmfdp.com/store/item_articles.html. The White Men and Diversity article series provides a valuable tool for use with corporate diversity councils, leadership teams, internal diversity conferences, etc. Volume pricing is available for copy permission when ordering for group use.

For more information on the use of these and other WMFDP publications in your organization, or other ways that White Men as Full Diversity Partners might partner with you in your organization’s diversity and inclusion efforts, please visit www.wmfdp.com or call 503.281.5585. You can also contact WMFDP Director of Operations, Kristal Greene-Christie, at kristal@wmfdp.com or 503.366.9401 for more information.

wmfdp, llc
Kristal Greene-Christie