Correspondence

At Ford, Diversity Is Job One

Letter From Corporate America

The chairman of Ford Motor Company, Jacques Nasser, in a videotaped address to a group of top executives forced to endure another in a series of "diversity-training" seminars, stated that he did not like the sea of white faces in the audience and that one of his prime directives was to ensure that in the future, our company would reflect the broad spectrum of customers that we serve. In case the point had not been driven home with sufficient clarity, a new compensation plan was unveiled, under which management pay plans would be tied to the promotion and nurturing of "minorities." At this time, the Ford definition of "minority" is broad enough to include women, black, Hispanic, "Native American," and most foreign employees (as long as they are "persons of color"), but far too narrow to include decorated or disabled war veterans, American blue-collar factory workers, or white men with Ph.D.'s in engineering. It is still unclear what the appropriate reaction should be from an aspiring Caucasian industrial captain: Resign in shame in the name of racial "equality" to make room for the "victims"? Ignore the best and brightest candidates in order to fill a quota, but at least bring home the "minority-bonus" bacon? Or, like an old soldier, just fade away into some obscure corporate backwater?

The answer, at least so far, seems to be all three. Older plant...

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