COMPANY SHOWS DIVERSITY BY TELLING THE 5 PEOPLE OF COLOR IN THE OFFICE THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN MODELS
Berkshire Hathaway is notorious for its lack of diversity among their employees. Every year the company publishes a company calendar and gives it out to everyone in the office around the holidays. Every year the calendar is more white washed than the month of December. This was until Wendy Duran, the VP of Global Marketing had the insight to convince the 5 people of color in the company that they totally could have been models.
Tactics like this had been thought of before but never put into place. For example, a few years back Warren Buffet himself thought to print all the calendars in black and white. “It will same us the cost of color printing and people would see that our company supports both all types of people. What he failed to compute was that white people do not look black when printed in black in white. This just made the company look like they were whitewashed and finding areas to nickel and dime giving back to the workers.
This idea however, might just work. “I figure the plan is an enormous win-win. One, we get diversity represented and two they get a little confidence boost. How could it backfire?” said Duran.
“It’s as if they assumed we don’t realize we’re often the only people of color in the office on a day to day basis… If we walk into a room with four non white passing people we know something is up. And to think I thought they actually thought I had what it takes to be a model. It’s just a rough day.” said James Shah.
The company got some push-back and had to issue an apology after deploying a tactic like this one.
“I just wish they had been up front about it. We would have probably laughed been like, yah you need us in the pictures. Hopefully this brings a little more awareness to the whiteness of the company and brings about some change.” commented Nida Kupp, one of those asked to pose for the calendar
To wrap things up, we’ll add that because their “models” waked out the company just took 12 photos of Wendy Duran’s black lab in different Berkshire Hathaway merchandise.
-A Well-Mannered Grump
Click the link below for more statistics about the diversity at Berkshire Hathaway