“Valuing diversity is apparently frowned upon in Corporate America — unless you’re a white man,” Jillian Berman wrote Monday for the Huffington Post.
“Women and minorities who promote diversity from corporate leadership positions tend to get lower evaluations from their bosses and colleagues, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Colorado and University of Texas. . .”
Eight of the 362 participating executives, or 2.2 percent, were listed as working in the media. The co-chairs of the Diversity Committee of the American Society of News Editors were skeptical of the findings.
“I have never been penalized for pushing diversity,” Manny Garcia, editor of the Naples (Fla.) Daily News, owned by the E.W. Scripps Co., told Journal-isms by telephone. “It’s actually helped me out. You can’t be a leader in the industry and not realize the need for diversity. You don’t have a choice.” Garcia was formerly executive editor and general manager of el Nuevo Herald, and city editor and senior editor at the Miami Herald.
Karen Magnuson, editor and vice president/news at the Gannett-owned Democrat and Chronicle Media Group in Rochester, N.Y., replied by email, “The news business still has a long way to go to reflect the demographics of our nation but I haven’t personally observed the dynamic cited in this report.
“I’ve received a lot of encouragement and positive reinforcement from Gannett on being an advocate for hiring and promoting women and journalists of color. Our editorial page editor, Jim Lawrence, was recognized with Gannett’s Leadership and Diversity Award. I received the same award in 2007.
“Our industry also recognizes diversity champions through awards such as the Robert G. McGruder Awards for Diversity Leadership.”
However, Janice Gin, trustee of the Radio Television Digital News Foundation and former Diversity Committee chair of the Radio Television Digital News Association, said the study might be on to something.
“When white men push for diversity — other white men laud it because it is not threatening,” Gin said by email. “It’s shared ‘think’ and easy for them to agree that yes, something should be done. When a woman pushes for gender equality — to the bosses who are often white men, it is a threat because it implies they haven’t been doing such a good job. When a minority pushes for diversity — to the bosses who are often white men, it is a threat because it says they haven’t been doing such a good job. When a woman of color pushes for diversity — it’s a double whammy. . . .”